Copper arthritis bracelets

another ‘anti’ story finds it’s way into the press

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8310792.stm

I wonder if Ben Goldacre will pick up on the fact that the journalist has drawn conclusions:
– With no references to the study
– With a tiny sample size. No meaningful results can be drawn from a cohort of 45 people!
– With an apparently arbitrary treatment protocol. Why 16 weeks? Why did they wear the 4 devices in a random order? I know nothing about this ‘copper therapy’, but I suspect you would expect to wear something longer than 4 weeks to have an effect! It probably has more to do with the researchers time constraints than any sensible treatment course length.

I am disappointed that another poor quality piece of propaganda has emanated from the BBC. I have no idea if those copper bracelets work, I have no investment in this thing, but it is becoming ever more apparent that there is a propaganda war being waged against complementary & alternative medicine, and it is people’s health that will suffer if they don’t start seeing through this.

I suppose you could describe it as ‘death by a thousand cuts’. There is a perception being created that ALL alternative therapies are without merit, that when any are investigated ‘properly’ by ‘real scientists’ the results are no better than chance (or that much misused word ‘placebo’). This is utterly untrue…for a piece of empirical scientific research go & have session with a reflexologist. Apart from the fact it is a lovely experience, their ability to identify any of your health issues from the sole of your foot is unnerving. Rather than dismissing this as ‘impossible’, wouldn’t it be more fun to find out why it works?

Down with this cult of scientific fundamentalism!

 

Alan

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