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Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by admin, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    This blog post is a good worthwhile read:
    Dr Elizabeth Thompson of Bristol Homeopathic Hospital finds that pills that contain nothing have no effect (not even placebo effect)
    Link to full story

    It traces some of the history behind the paper, the people involved, the use of the freedom of information act and why clinical trials do need to be registered.
  2. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    Here is the actual publication:
    The feasibility of a pragmatic randomised controlled trial to compare usual care with usual care plus individualised homeopathy, in children requiring secondary care for asthma
    E.A. Thompson, A. Shaw, J. Nichol, S. Hollinghurst, A.J. Henderson, T. Thompson, D. Sharp
    Homeopathy Volume 100, Issue 3, July 2011, Pages 122-130
    Here is what the blog post in the first message above had to say on the conclusion:
  3. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  4. Oh that is funny. In fact, Its hilarious!!!

    So not only are the results not what we wanted but the whole design is bust.

    I tell you what, I'll bet if the study had shown even the smallest hint of a success rate they would have thought the design was top notch!!

    Sheeeesh. Just when you think it can't get any worse, it gets worse!!
  5. blinda

    blinda MVP

  6. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member


    I can't thank you enough. I've never heard of or read the Daily Mash. It is awesome!

    Actually, come to think of it, the last thing I need is another distraction from doing actual work!

  7. blinda

    blinda MVP

    Make sure you sign up for their regular email bulletins, they usually have me in tears (in a good way) just when I need it.

  8. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member


  9. You DO have to love the daily mash.

    Check out the horoscopes.
  10. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    I did and, amazingly, they have someone that looks just like Guru Bob .........who would have thought?
  11. Ah guru bob . Whatever happened to him?
  12. blinda

    blinda MVP

  13. Like the new look.
  14. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

  15. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Have a look at this from the BBC:

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  16. blinda

    blinda MVP

  17. Well, i suppose if someone wants to provide placebos on the NHS, its not dear is it?
    See? 0.001%. Tiny number. Thats just £84,000 a year! On small bottles of magic water. Why thats barely three nurses worth. And its not like they're making NHS staff redundant or anything is it.

    Well, I say £84,000 , the spokesman was only referring to the actual cost of the magic water. The actual cost of the 3 homeopathic hospitals, according the the NHS themselves is £3-4 million pounds a year. And you can only run one and a bit A&E departments on that And lets face it, its not like closing them to save money is going toCause any problems is it now.

    No, Keep the magic water I say! Patient choice over proven efficacy!
  18. blinda

    blinda MVP

    Hmmm. Bit grumpy today? Slight discomfort? ;)
  19. Bit, yeah ;)
  20. bob

    bob Active Member

    This week is Homeopathy Awareness week - I am aware of that.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  21. DAVOhorn

    DAVOhorn Well-Known Member

    Dear All,

    Over the last few weeks there have been a couple of reports concerning Homeopathy.

    The Professor of Complimentary Therapies at Exeter University has stated that Homeopathy does not even get the results of a placebo.

    He even suggested that Homeopathy and practitioners may be fraudulent in their practice.

    There were good articles in the Sunday newspapers and weekday newspapers reporting this.

    Naturally the Homeopathic supporters are up in arms.

    Saying that they cannot affford to do proper research to prove or disprove its efficacy.

    As a student at a local college i discuss with other students who are doing complimentary therapies what they think. Well they are taught buy wrote and not taught to think.

    So i gave one of them a copy of my professional journal on pain management and current practice and she was amazed at the in depth research ad the conclusions.

    Ho Hum, so they are not taught to question or even to think.:deadhorse:

    many complimentary therapies are in trouble. Just look at the Complimentary therapy centre in Devon where the director has been struck off the medical register, but carries on doing what he was struck off for. He made the papers too.

    it seems there is a desire to move from Science based care to charlatanism as it is considered NATURAL.

    If i look at 25 years of practice as a pod much of what was considered good practice has since been proven to be inneffectual eg VP t/t modalities.

    Regards David
  22. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Maybe my logic is flawed and I am sure you will tell me if you think it is.

    The effect of any treatment is made up of a placebo (psychological) effect, which is a constant, plus a physiological effect.

    If this combined effect isn't as good as the placebo effect it doesn't mean that there is no placebo effect. It means that the treatment is harmful, ie the placebo effect plus the treatment effect equals zero, ie for example
    1-1=0 where the placebo effect is +1 and the physiological effect is not 0 (no effect) but -1 (a harmful effect).

  23. Your logic Is flawed ;)

    This is a knackered study. One cannot trust it.

    But besides that, one must also consider the nocebo effect. Or that the placebo effect, due to the way its delivered is <1. The placebo effect is a highly fluid variable. So to use your equation, We cannot calculate the physiological effect because we do not know all the value of the placebo in the equation.
  24. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I always enjoy reading posts on Science Blogs by Orac - he has a way with words. His latest post is a classic:
  25. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Hi Robert,

    Absolutely right Robert. It might have helped if I had looked at the study before I put in my contribution but why change the habit of a lifetime?

    I can see that if the placebo effect is zero then there will be no statistical difference between the results of each arm of the study. Is this the case? It doesn't seem to be something that came up clearly in the discussion section of the report and a superficial look at the quantitative results seems to suggest a negative effect associated with HC? Whether or not it's statistically relevant doesn't seem to come up in the discussion.

    The problem with magical thinking is that to a greater or lesser extent it seems to be inherent in almost all humanbeings. The greater the commitment to something, eg survival, the greater the likelyhood of magical thinking, eg love, hate, religion, science, growing food in a desert, etc, etc, etc.

    As an evolved characteristic does that mean it gives us a survival advantage?
  26. Yep. It's called heuristic reasoning. It's the psychological process we use to "jump to conclusions". Generally those conclusions are good and the extra speed of thought processing gives an evolutionary advantage. Unfortunately it's also poison to science!
  27. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Hi Robert,

    I would like to thank you indirectly for helping me to find the truth.

    The process went like this.

    Your suggestion of heuristic reasoning sounded good to me.

    What's heuristic reasoning?

    As always fell back on WikiP. to answer that question and there was the revelation. Everythinbg fell into place. Yes you've probably guessed it, contained within the description of heuristic reasoning I saw the light, I discovered the unquestionable universal truth of the DOCTRINE OF SIGNATURES.

    It sounds right to me i'n'it?

  28. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Orac is at it again today with another classic:
  29. Wonderful.

    I think the last sentance of Craig's link sums it up.
    I'm so stealing that. A softly whispered magic spell made to sound like science. The most poetic description of pseudo-science I've ever heard.

    For some reason, all the b*****ks around proprioceptive insoles sprang to my mind...

    Or the availability heuristic as I'd call it. Same fallacy.

    If you really are interested in this stuff, can I recommend the quite excellent book "Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds". Its very well written, approachable, and will change the way you think about thinking.
  30. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    It not only the Vibram FiveFingers that are facing a lawsuit over health claims, but so are homeopathic manufacturers:
    Full story
  31. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Robert many thanks for pointing me in the direction of 'Inevitable Illusions'.

    There are so many threads on Podiatry arena concerned with one or other manifestation of this form of thinking and almost invariably the contributors are united against it and if one of the believers is brave/foolhardy enough to pop his head above the parapet the weakness or total lack of logical argument is soon revealed. But so far I haven't met one believer who seems to be converted by the 'scientific argument'.

    Of course the pooor 'believer' is often confronted not by scientific argument but by jeering, derision, frustration, rage, insult even threats to come round to his house to beat some sense into him.

    Possibly this is not the right formula for creating converts?

    Do you think that logical argument can convert magical thinkers?

    If not can they be tested for an excess of 'magical thinking' before they enter any form of scientific study? Of course for those magical thinkers who are already part of the scientific community the only answer is excommunication?

    Seriously, is there an objective method of identifying this characteristic?

    Must rush.I'm off to buy my lottery ticket as soon as I can find my lucky pen and list of lucky numbers. Fingers crossed

  32. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Here is another gem:
    Full article

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