General Guidelines for Methodologies on Research and Evaluation of Traditional Medicine
(2000; 80 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentForeword
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contents1. Methodologies for Research and Evaluation of Herbal Medicines
Open this folder and view contents2. Methodologies for Research and Evaluation of Traditional Procedure-Based Therapies
Close this folder3. Clinical Research
View the document3.1 General Considerations
View the document3.2 Literature Review
View the document3.3 Selection of Study Design
Open this folder and view contents4. Other Issues and Considerations
View the documentReferences
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexes
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex I. Guidelines for the Assessment of Herbal Medicinesa
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex II. Research Guidelines for Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of Herbal Medicinesa
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex III. Report of a WHO Consultation on Traditional Medicine and AIDS: Clinical Evaluation of Traditional Medicines and Natural Productsa
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex IV. Definition of Levels of Evidence and Grading of Recommendationa
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex V. Guidelines for Levels and Kinds of Evidence to Support Claims for Therapeutic Goodsa
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex VI. Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (GCP) for Trials on Pharmaceutical Productsa
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex VII. Guidance for Industry: Significant Scientific Agreement in the Review of Health Claims for Conventional Foods and Dietary Supplementsa
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex VIII. Guideline for Good Clinical Practicea
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex IX. WHO QOL (Quality of Life) User Manual: Facet Definitions and Response Scalesa
View the documentAnnex X. Participants in the WHO Consultation on Methodologies for Research and Evaluation of Traditional Medicine
 

3.1 General Considerations

Normally, clinical research of all types of conventional and traditional medicine considers both efficacy and safety, and is conducted according to WHO’s guidelines for good clinical practice and the Declaration of Helsinki (see Annex VI). Safety evaluation, however, may not be the main focus of clinical research in traditional medicine, because of the long history of traditional medicine. The information here provides further details to the relevant sections dealing with clinical trials in the assessment of herbal medicines (Part 1) and traditional procedure-based therapies (Part 2).

In addition to evaluating the safety and efficacy of traditional medicine through clinical trials, there may be a number of different objectives when evaluating traditional medicine through clinical research, as when using clinical research to evaluate conventional medicine. Some of the objectives specific to the assessment of traditional medicine through clinical research are to:

• evaluate traditional medicine in its own theoretical framework (e.g. mechanistic studies);

• evaluate traditional medicine in the theoretical framework of conventional medicine (e.g. mechanistic studies);

• compare the efficacy of different systems of traditional medicine and/or conventional medicine; and

• compare the efficacy of different traditional practices within a system of traditional medicine.

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