Methodological issues and complementary therapies: Researching intangibles?

Bernie Carter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing drive to adopt evidence-based practice within the mainstream health service creates a sense of urgency for high quality, rigorous research to support CAM. The RCT is seen as the gold standard for allopathic research. However, the tenets of the RCT cannot simply be just picked up and applied to CAM research. Critics of the RCT propose that it fractures and fragments the essence of many complementary therapies. Challenges including standardisation, blinding, randomisation, practitioner influence, placebos, and controls are explored and some possible solutions are presented. CAM researchers need to be creative so that they capture some of the intangibles that currently slip through the reductionist net of the RCT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalComplementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003


  • Challenges
  • Complementary therapies
  • Methodology
  • Research
  • Rigour

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Methodological issues and complementary therapies: Researching intangibles?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this