Teaching Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: 5. Interpreting the Results of a Study on Therapy and Applying Them to a Patient
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Practicing evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) requires that practitioners develop an ability to understand and appropriately apply the results of published studies addressing questions related to their clinical practice. This paper describes a process by which CAM practitioners can interpret the results of studies evaluating therapeutic interventions and then determine if they can apply these results to their patients. We describe a process for interpreting the results of a study on therapy that involves determining the estimate of the magnitude of the therapy's effect and determining the precision of this estimate. We then describe a process for determining whether the results of a study on therapy can be applied to a given patient that involves determining the extent to which patients in the study differ from the patient being treated and determining if the study addressed all outcomes of interest.
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