Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Parachutes and project Dexter

We had a friend staying last week who is a consultant surgeon, and we were discussing evidence-based treatments for humans and in animals, and how our reactions towards new developments aren't always governed by logic(!).

There is a quote at the back of "Feet First" from a fantastic book called "Bad Medicine" by David Wootton, which I've mentioned on the blog before:

The many examples in "Bad Medicine" demonstrate how much our traditions, egos, hopes and fears can slow down progress, even when logically there seems no reason for the delay. Equally, we can often cling to ineffective remedies, purely through habit.

Of course, nowadays we expect that new medical or veterinary developments can prove that they are effective before we adopt them - its the key reason behind Project Dexter, after all - but our friend last week (who is himself involved in research as well as clinical practice) reminded me that research statistics, while important, aren't necessarily the be-all and end-all.

As he said, there will never be a double-blind clinical trial for a parachute.

I'd never thought of barefoot rehab as a parachute, but of course for a lot of horses (including most of the ones here) thats exactly what it is.

1 comment:

cptrayes said...

Well, yes, it's difficult to hide whether a foot has a shoe on it or not, isn't it :-)))) ?