The randomised controlled trial (RCT) method of acquiring truth(s) provides conclusions about a treatment’s average effect, one might say a measure of average outcomes is guiding policy decisions. Policies are aimed at the majority and not you as an individual. When an RCT shows the average treatment effect is less than placebo the media headline might read treatment has no effect (even though ‘placebo’ can vary a lot). In the RCT, the simple individual level treatment effect is lost yet as an individual I’d like to know how treatment would help me, not tell me what the average outcome of a random crowd of people is.
The largest trial for Chiropractic Care was criticised for having too small a sample size by something like 18 people (out of 1200 odd that were recruited) Yet the averaging out from the data of the 1200 participants were not accepted as ‘real’. The data showed Chiropractic to be better than best current (2004) back pain NHS services. Yet for the past 100 years people in the UK have been paying for chiropractic care, and since 1952, paying for chiropractic care in addition to NHS Care.
Surely the test of time would suggest that it is worth the organisational effort to winkle out the real effect for the most common ailment in the country, back pain. An effort to help sooth GP time demands and release them for more appropriate appointments. Chiropractic is a small minority profession of just c.3000. The irony is that the healthcare profession that provides Care by hand needs a helping hand to be seen by policy makers.
Access to GPs and further services can take several months. If you book today it could be all better before you would even get a first appointment on the NHS. A core value of the NHS is compassion. A value that would mean something is done for you right away… It would seem in MSK medicine Chiropractors are compassionate toward the people who seek their help. You only get one body…
Further Reading (if you wish!)
- Krauss A (2018) Why all Randomised Controlled Trials Produce Biased Results. Annals of Medicine. 50 (4) 312-322