evidence-based practice

Map versus terrain?

by Anna Luise Kirkengen

When discussing the potentials and limitations of “Evidence Based Medicine”, it might be reasonable to begin by examining the premises inherent in the concept. It might be wise to question, for example, whether the use of the word “Evidence” in this model represents an improper appropriation of the term, as if it had a single, specific meaning. One might object: “What is evident? Well, that depends.” (more…)

Thinking about guidelines

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National Geographic Wild, Trafalgar Square in London, January 28, 2016.

On October 24, 2016, the CauseHealth crowd met with a small group of other philosophers, healthcare practitioners, and members of the guidelines community. We had a rousing discussion that lasted the whole day, with few pauses and enthusiastic participation from all in attendance. We talked about several issues with how guidelines are developed and implemented and how we thought philosophy could be relevant in solving those issues.

It is difficult to summarize the discussion in a few words—the topics were wide-ranging and participants shared complex ideas from multiple perspectives. I’m going to highlight here some of the themes that came up more than once, and to give an idea of where the group thought the discussion should go next.

Read more of Samantha’s review of the workshop
Read Rani on Real v. Ideal Guidelines
Read Elena on How Decisions are Made
Read Karin on the Ethics of Reduction
Read Stephen on the Notion of Guideline
Read Roger on the Challenges to Come
Read Fiona on Guidelines in Situ
Read Sarah on Truth, Simplicity and Personalization
Read Anna Luise on Challenging Multi-Morbidity
Read Stephen on Standards for Regulation
Read Samantha on Analogies and High-Stakes Inferences
(more…)

#CauseHealthPT Holds Court: The Beginning of The Beginning

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By Roger Kerry

How and why has this philosophy project got itself so involved with physiotherapy? The background to the CauseHealth project is essentially that the world of health care is not straightforward, and indeed is characterised by complexity and context-sensitivity. Physiotherapy is a profession where these characteristics are easily visible, and so serves as a great ‘testing ground’ for the philosophical work being done by CauseHealth. This in turn helps the project better understand its ideas. In doing this, physiotherapy itself gets a deep and critical understanding of the job it does, and of the scientific research which informs it. We are now symbiotic! (more…)

Why do we care about the foundations of evidence-based medicine (“EBM”)?

by Samantha Copeland

CauseHealth has been pushing buttons all over the place, lately, as we pursue our goal of critiquing current frameworks in EBM by proposing some deep questions about its ontology*. We aren’t the only ones—at recent events, we have found people from various communities in medicine are ready and willing to raise and engage some tough questions, about what evidence is and how it might best be used. Reflecting on two recent events we attended, in this blog post I want to think a little bit about the relationship between understanding the foundations of EBM, and putting the ideals of EBM to work for us in medical practice. (more…)

What is science and why do health professionals need to know?

by Rani Lill Anjum

On Monday 23rd November, Stephen Mumford and Roger Kerry gave a two-part lecture at the Council for Allied Health Professions Research London Hub – Evening Lecture. The topic was ‘What is Science and Why do Health Professionals Need to Know?’. Handouts and a podcast from the event are available here. (more…)