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
 

3.2 Literature Review

The starting point in the design of a research protocol is a complete literature review, including the traditional use of the proposed practice and existing scientific research in the field. Where little or no literature exists, the oral tradition and the source of this tradition need to be clearly stated.

A review of the literature should identify the current level of evidence of efficacy and safety for the proposed intervention. Evaluation of the literature should follow well-established and accepted guidelines (see Part 1, section 1.3). However, meta-analysis in traditional medicine may be difficult, mainly due to the lack of large clinical trials of good quality. In addition, the efficacy of a particular treatment may also vary according to the skill and experience of the practitioner. These issues must be considered and kept in mind.

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