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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Beedie 2016.

Is exercise effective, or just efficacious?

updated
Beedie C, Mann S, Jimenez A, Kennedy L, Lane AM, Domone S, Wilson S, Whyte G. Death by effectiveness: exercise as medicine caught in the efficacy trap! Br J Sports Med. 2016 Mar;50(6):323–4. PubMed #25807166.
Tags: exercise, deep, debunkery, scientific medicine, self-treatment, treatment

PainSci summary of Beedie 2016?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

“Efficacy” is how well a treatment works in ideal circumstances, such as in a carefully contrived scientic test. Unfortunately, real life is rarely ideal: “effectiveness” is how well the same thing works in typical clinical settings and patients’ lives. Exercise is well-known to be efficacious, but is often not effective. That is, it works well when tested in the lab, but not for real patients. Effectiveness is what matters to patients!

related content

These three articles on PainScience.com cite Beedie 2016 as a source:


This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: