How to evaluate the effectiveness of complementary therapies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The most important question about any treatment is whether it is effective. This article summarizes basic theoretic and practical aspects that are relevant to the evaluation of the effectiveness of a treatment. The factors that can explain why patients improve over time and the ways to separate these factors are outlined. It is explained why, theoretically, randomized clinical trials are the best method to answer questions about effectiveness. Reasons that such trials sometimes fail in practice to provide valid answers are listed. It is argued why evidence from randomized trials must be 'complemented' by a variety of different research methods and quality assurance projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-256
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2000


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