Separating Snake Oil from Penicillin: How to Determine Which Treatments Really Work. Douglas W. Woods, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee May 1, 2009. Snake Oil. a derogatory term for compounds offered as medicines which imply they are fake, fraudulent, or ineffective.
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Douglas W. Woods, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
May 1, 2009
bad theory = bad claims
What is “controlled” Oil?
When scientists try to rule out other explanations for an effect, they “control for” these explanations
What else could explain why someone got better?
Resolution of other issues
Change in the environment/world events
Having attention paid to you
Open label trials
These will often show up in medical journals
Again, doesn’t mean the treatment is ineffectiveGood data, lots of cases, but uncontrolled
Measure Subjects Symptoms After Treatment
Subjects Receive Treatment
Measure Subjects Symptoms Before Treatment
Person who did the assessment of progress does not know which treatment the person received
ACT/HRT N=12Completed 10 sessions in 12 wks
All do 2nd Assess
Wait-List N=13No Contact for 12 wks
MGH-HSPulling CountsNIMH-CIRAAQPAI-AnxietyPAI-DepressionTEI-SF*Tx Compliance*Tx Utilization*