Methodological issues and complementary therapies: Researching intangibles?

Bernie Carter*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

    33 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


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