Quantitative Methods in Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Methodological Manifesto

Jeffrey S. Levin, Thomas A. Glass, Lawrence H. Kushi, John R. Schuck, Lea Steele, Wayne B. Jonas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

97 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVES. This article summarizes the deliberations of the Quantitative Methods Working Group convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in support of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine. METHODS. The working group was charged with identifying methods of study design and data analysis that can be applied to empirical research on complementary and alternative medicine. This charge was broad and inclusive and addressed the evaluation of alternative therapies, the investigation of the basic science of complementary medical systems, studies of health promotion and disease prevention, and health services research. RESULTS. The working group produced a "methodological manifesto," a summary list of seven recommended methodological guidelines for research on alternative medicine. These recommendations emphasize the robustness of existing research methods and analytic procedures despite the substantive unconventionality of alternative medicine. CONCLUSIONS. Contrary to the assertions of many researchers and alternative practitioners, established methodologies (eg, experimental trials, observational epidemiology, social survey research) and data-analytic procedures (eg, analysis of variance, logistic regression, multivariate modeling techniques) are quite satisfactory for addressing the majority of study questions related to alternative medicine, from clinical research on therapeutic efficacy to basic science research on mechanisms of pathogenesis and recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1079-1094
Number of pages16
JournalMedical Care
Volume35
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

alternative medicine
Complementary Therapies
quantitative method
working group
Research
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
survey research
epidemiology
science
health
analysis of variance
Therapeutic Human Experimentation
deliberation
health promotion
research method
empirical research
Empirical Research
health service
Health Services Research
data analysis

Keywords

  • Alternative medicine
  • Methodology
  • Research
  • Statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

Cite this

Levin, J. S., Glass, T. A., Kushi, L. H., Schuck, J. R., Steele, L., & Jonas, W. B. (1997). Quantitative Methods in Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Methodological Manifesto. Medical Care, 35(11), 1079-1094.

Quantitative Methods in Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine : A Methodological Manifesto. / Levin, Jeffrey S.; Glass, Thomas A.; Kushi, Lawrence H.; Schuck, John R.; Steele, Lea; Jonas, Wayne B.

In: Medical Care, Vol. 35, No. 11, 11.1997, p. 1079-1094.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Levin, JS, Glass, TA, Kushi, LH, Schuck, JR, Steele, L & Jonas, WB 1997, 'Quantitative Methods in Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Methodological Manifesto', Medical Care, vol. 35, no. 11, pp. 1079-1094.
Levin JS, Glass TA, Kushi LH, Schuck JR, Steele L, Jonas WB. Quantitative Methods in Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Methodological Manifesto. Medical Care. 1997 Nov;35(11):1079-1094.
Levin, Jeffrey S. ; Glass, Thomas A. ; Kushi, Lawrence H. ; Schuck, John R. ; Steele, Lea ; Jonas, Wayne B. / Quantitative Methods in Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine : A Methodological Manifesto. In: Medical Care. 1997 ; Vol. 35, No. 11. pp. 1079-1094.
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