nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
See here for more discussion.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Great Article On Medical Research Jargon

Readers know I dig into research studies directly.  A lot of the time I assume that terms like "double-blinded" and "meta-analysis" are understood.  If not, Forbes published a quick and dirty guide.

From the Forbes Consumer Health Blog, Aug 23, comes a glossary to all the different kinds of research studies ("Medical Terms You Need to Know"), why some are give stronger evidence than others, how the study is conducted, and how the end results are evaluated.  A great resource.  Bookmark this article, so when you read a journal article (or a Nostrums post) on a "case study" you know why it doesn't tell us much that's immediately useful.

You'll also know the strengths and weaknesses of "clinical trials" that follow a group of patients under a specific treatment to see if they get better...and much more.

It may even help you to deconstruct the hype that accompanies almost every media report of an interesting study.

For the inquiring mind, it doesn't get any better than this.

Doc D

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