Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

No real evidence that parachutes work 

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
Get posts in your inbox:
Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

I recently added a classic satirical citation to my bibliography, and then worked it into a revision of my article about the difference between evidence-based and science-based medicine:

Evidence-based medicine was mocked in a classic article for the British Medical Journal, which pointed out that “the effectiveness of parachutes has not been subjected to rigorous evaluation by using randomised controlled trials.” EBM isn’t actually that foolish in theory. Good testing is extremely important, but only one part of a complex puzzle, and good doctors and scientists know this perfectly well. But they aren’t the problem. In practice, EBM richly deserved the satire, because it has often been applied overzealously, as though all that matters is study results. And that, bizarrely, created a wonderful opportunity for quacks …

PainSci Member Login » Submit your email to unlock member content. If you can’t remember/access your registration email, please contact me. ~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher