Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.
Keeping the customer satisfied (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/keeping-the-customer-satisfied/ Alternative medicine, integrative medicine, and hospital administrators place great emphasis on patient satisfaction, but giving the patient what he wants isn’t always what’s best for the patient. A recent study shows that satisfied patients tend to have worse outcomes.
How to Choose a Doctor (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/how-to-choose-a-doctor/ Some thoughts on how to find a doctor who places a high value on reason, logic, and evidence and who will not offer quack tests and remedies.
Disparities in Regional Health Care Costs (Steven Novella) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/disparities-in-regional-health-care-costs/ The cost of medical care varies considerably with geographic location. Are some areas overusing expensive technology? Are others failing to deliver important services? Many factors are involved, and careful study will be needed to untangle them.
The CAM Docket: Boiron I (Jann Bellamy) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-cam-docket-boiron-i/ Boiron, a major producer of homeopathic remedies, faces numerous class action lawsuits claiming that their labels and advertising claims are false, misleading, and constitute unfair and deceptive business practices. If one proposed settlement is approved by the court, Boiron would pay out 5 million dollars and change its labeling and advertising. That still leaves something to be desired.
The Species in the Feces (Mark Crislip) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-species-in-the-feces/ We harbor thousands of bacterial species that contribute to our health and illness. Proposed microbiome-based treatments include fecal transplants, probiotics, and yogurt. Some are more reasonable than others. Vintage Crislip: prepare to laugh.