To assist readers in evaluating the results of human/clinical studies of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments for cancer, a scoring system has been devised that allows studies of individual treatments to be ranked according to the strength of their evidence (i.e., their level of evidence). Not all studies, however, are given a level of evidence score. To be eligible, a study must:
Evaluate a therapeutic outcome(s), such as tumor response, improvement in survival, or carefully measured improvement in quality of life.
Be reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Have its clinical findings published in sufficient detail that a meaningful evaluation can be made.
Evidence from studies that do not meet these requirements is considered extremely weak. In addition to scoring individual studies, a summary of the evidence is usually made.
To be effective, caregiver assessment should take into account what the caregiver is able and willing to provide. Gender stereotyping may lead the oncology team to assume that women are more able to perform tasks such as wound dressing, feeding, bathing, and wheelchair manipulation, but this is not always the case. Caregiving may be influenced by gender and by the expected caregiver roles within a family unit. A meta-analysis of 84 studies of caregiver burden found that spousal caregivers were...
Because no study of the use of 714-X in humans has been reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, no level of evidence analysis is possible for this treatment. Therefore, at this time, the use of 714-X as a treatment for cancer cannot be recommended outside the context of well-designed clinical trials.
For additional information about levels of evidence analysis, refer to Levels of Evidence for Human Studies of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute
February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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