Guidelines for randomised controlled trials investigating Chinese herbal medicine

Flower, Andrew, Witt, Claudia, Liu, Jian Ping, Ulrich-Merzenich, Gudrun, Yu, He and Lewith, George (2012) Guidelines for randomised controlled trials investigating Chinese herbal medicine. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 140, (3), 550-554. (doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.12.017).


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Ethnographic relevance: Clinical trials investigating Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) have been frequently criticised for their lack of scientific rigour. As part of the GP-TCM project a team of experienced clinical researchers and CHM practitioners have developed clinical trial guidelines for CHM that combine an appreciation for traditional methods of practice with detailed and practical advice on research methodology.

Materials and methods: This paper presents an executive summary of this work. It introduces the practice of CHM and the key considerations that need to be addressed whilst researching this traditional medical system.

Results: These guidelines emphasise the importance of identifying best practice,and then developing and applying appropriate and rigorous research methodologies to investigate CHM as a whole system.

Conclusions: It is hoped that this will encourage a thoughtful and meticulous process of investigation that will clarify the contribution that CHM can make to our future healthcare. Innovative new approaches are considered including the application of the new “omic” technologies and systems biology as a way of enhancing our understanding of traditional practice

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.12.017
ISSNs: 0378-8741 (print)
Keywords: clinical trials, traditional chinese medicine, system biology and omics, quality traditional medicines
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions : Faculty of Medicine > Primary Care and Population Sciences
ePrint ID: 209381
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
10 April 2012Published
23 December 2011Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2012 14:33
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:49

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