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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2012, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (4): 369-374.doi: 10.3736/jcim20120403

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Connotations and extensions of comparative effectiveness research and feasibility analysis for clinical evaluation in traditional Chinese medicine

Hong-bo Cao, Hong-cai Shang()   

  1. Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China
  • Received:2012-01-06 Accepted:2012-01-28 Online:2012-04-20 Published:2018-04-15

Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is well developed in international medical research. This article analyzes the basic connotations of CER from five aspects, including selection of objective, positioning of target population, comparison of intervention scheme, identification of contrast condition and analysis of therapeutic effects. The inclusiveness and advanced nature of CER were revealed by comparing with modern medical research methods, such as evidence-based medicine, patient-important outcome and randomized controlled trials. Based on the superiority of CER, the feasibility of applying CER in clinical evaluation of traditional Chinese medicine is explored. CER should be combined with the holistic concept, syndrome differentiation and individuality-concerned treatment so as to facilitate its development in research of traditional Chinese medicine in China.

Key words: comparative effectiveness research, traditional Chinese medicine, validation studies as topic, clinical trial

Table 1

Comparison of evidence-based medicine and comparative effectiveness research"

Comparative aspect Evidence-based medicine Comparative effectiveness research
Same points
Theoretical origin Clinical epidemiology Clinical epidemiology
Base point The best current evidence In line with actual clinical evidence
Information sharing A theoretical basis for comparative effectiveness research Evidence optimization for evidence-based medicine
Different points
Research objective To provide the best medical care demand Integration of medical resources
Research perspective Emphasis on evidence of internal validity Emphasis on evidence of actual external validity
Maturity Relatively mature Method should be improved

Figure 1

PIO-based evaluation method PIO: patient-important outcome; PRO: patient-reported outcome; CRO: clinical report outcome."

Figure 2

Comparison between CER and RCT CER: comparative effectiveness research; RCT: randomized controlled trial."

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