N=1

CauseHealth workshop N=1 is now a section in JECP special issue.

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The Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice has dedicated a section of its latest special issue to collect seven contributions which were previously presented in the CauseHealth workshop N=1. A further contribution from the same workshop was published by the same journal last year. (more…)

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What if…

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Author Anna Luise Kirkengen
(#2 of the Whole Person reflections series)

What if one would weave a text by means of threads coloured by the recent topics of the on-going CauseHealth project. One thread would be causality, and how it is understood and applied in current biomedicine. Another would be ontology in the sense of how a human being and the human body is conceptualised in medicine and how this concept underpins the Western health care systems. A third thread would be methodology, and how the predominant methods for knowledge production, group based, randomised trials often including thousands of patients, might be radically challenged by the concept of N=1. A fourth thread would be stories in the sense of biographies before a person fell ill, and stories in the sense of testimonies of being ill – and how these have been systematically avoided as possible source of contamination in medical knowledge production. A fifth thread would then be knowledge condensates as these have grown both in number and normativity in the shape of clinical guidelines in all medical specialties during the latest years. Together, these threads can form quite different pictures, dependent on the frame applied. (more…)

What does CauseHealth mean by N=1?

by Roger Kerry

N=1” is a slogan used to publicise a core purpose of the CauseHealth project. N=1 refers to a project which is focussed on understanding causally important variables which may exist at an individual level, but which are not necessarily represented or understood through scientific inquiry at a population level. There is an assumption that causal variables are essentially context-sensitive, and as such although population data may by symptomatic of causal association, they do not constitute causation. The project seeks to develop existing scientific methods to try and better understand individual variations. In this sense, N=1 has nothing at all to do with acquiescing to “what the patient wants”, or any other similar fabricated straw-man characterisations of the notion which might emerge during discussions about this notion. (more…)

N=1 Reflections Roundup

by Samantha CopelandDSC_0033

I’d like to shout out a hearty thank you for the last two weeks’ contributions from the
participants in our January workshop, N=1: Causal Reasoning and Evidence for Clinical Practice! A diverse group of participants has given us a variety of things to think about, compliments to savour, and tough questions to ponder—thank for making February interesting too.
(more…)

The role of meaning in (medical) science

Reflections by Adam Bjerre on N=1Campus25

The CauseHealth workshop at NMBU was a very different kind of workshop than I was used to as a practising and basically mechanistically trained physiotherapist. The gathering was much more abstract, more reflective and still tremendously engaging and relevant. It occurred to me how much the workshop highlighted the problem that still seems to haunt the medical sciences as well as the sciences in general, but the natural sciences in particular: the role of meaning in a material world or more precisely how (local, not global) meaning can be causally efficacious. (more…)