ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

Friendly User's Guide for the Timing of Nutritional Supplements

The Health Benefits of Manuka Honey

Increase Your Magnesium Intake

Vitamin D supplementation could ease IBS symptoms

Top Tips to Boost Your Immunity

11 Amazing Health Benefits of Using Baking Soda

Nicotinamide riboside shows promise for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

Exercise, calcium, vitamin D, and other factors linked with fewer injurious falls

Vitamin D3 Is a Powerhouse for Your Heart

Mediterranean diet associated with lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer

Print Page
Email Article

Unexpected findings and promoting monocausal claims, a cautionary tale

  [ 1 vote ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By S. M. Copeland • • June 19, 2016

By S. M. Copeland


Stories of serendipitous discoveries in medicine incorrectly imply that the path from an unexpected observation to major discovery is straightforward or guaranteed. In this paper, I examine a case from the field of research about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In Norway, an unexpected positive result during clinical care has led to the development of a research programme into the potential for the immunosuppressant drug rituximab to relieve the symptoms of CFS. The media and public have taken up researchers' speculations that their research results indicate a causal mechanism for CFS - consequently, patients now have great hope that 'the cause' of CFS has been found, and thus, a cure is sure to follow.

I argue that a monocausal claim cannot be correctly asserted, either on the basis of the single case of an unexpected, although positive, result or on the basis of the empirical research that has followed up on that result. Further, assertion and promotion of this claim will have specific harmful effects: it threatens to inappropriately narrow the scope of research on CFS, might misdirect research altogether, and could directly and indirectly harm patients. Therefore, the CFS case presents a cautionary tale, illustrating the risks involved in drawing a theoretical hypothesis from an unexpected observation.

Further, I draw attention to the tendency in contemporary clinical research with CFS to promote new research directions on the basis of reductive causal models of that syndrome. Particularly, in the case of CFS research, underdetermination and causal complexity undermine the potential value of a monocausal claim. In sum, when an unexpected finding occurs in clinical practice or medical research, the value of following up on that finding is to be found not in the projected value of a singular causal relationship inferred from the finding but rather in the process of research that follows.

© 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Source: Copeland SM. Unexpected findings and promoting monocausal claims, a cautionary tale. J Eval Clin Pract. 2016 Jun 10. doi: 10.1111/jep.12584. [Epub ahead of print]

Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Ultra ATP+, Double Strength Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil

Article Comments

Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment

Optimized Curcumin Longvida with Omega-3

Featured Products

Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health

Natural Remedies

Carry a Massage Therapist in Your Pocket Carry a Massage Therapist in Your Pocket
Enhance Eyelashes Naturally Enhance Eyelashes Naturally
"It's Not Easy Being Green" - But It Is Healthy
Cell-Charging Compound Gives Steady Energy to Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Patients Cell-Charging Compound Gives Steady Energy to Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Patients
IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, and Other Digestive Disorders IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, and Other Digestive Disorders

ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
Credit Card Processing
Get the latest news about Fibromyalgia, M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and Natural Wellness

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2018 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map