Evidence Based Medicine
Scientific bias and shortcomings give a major reason for criticism of evidence-based medicine. Sociologists and philosophers do not agree that the various scientific researches done are very accurate. They cite varying quality of research data relied upon and limitation on published research only as the major reason for publishing and feasibility bias (De Vries & Lemmens, 2006). They argue that sometimes cost cutting drives the researcher’s agenda thus negatively influencing the results and performance. These biases together with influence from sponsors and cultural factors have a direct influence on the results of the researchers such that the clinicians will skew the results. This paper examines the reasons in support of the argument based on evidences drawn from sponsorship of research and the state application of the research results to affect economic policies.
Structural bias occurs when researchers alter the results of their study in favor of specific state organs or organizations such as pharmaceutical companies in order to receive future funding (De Vries & Lemmens, 2006). The main challenge in sponsored research is the sponsor’s influence on the design and methodological approach to study or direct manipulation of data and results. Cultural bias occurring in medical research is difficult to observe and identify; however, they do occur. These are a set of beliefs, values, ethics, and norms that determine the success and failure of various medical research approaches. A clear example of a cultural influence on medical research is maternity care and delivery in Netherlands. One may measure the effectiveness of delivery and maternity care through verifying whether hospitals have state of art equipments or qualified doctors yet many deliveries occur at home.
In conclusion, structural and cultural biases bear an influence on the medical research and results. There is a need for randomized research and clinical trials to avoid such biases and improve the reliability of evidence based medicine.
De Vries, R., Lemmens, T. (2006). "The social and cultural shaping of medical evidence: Case studies." Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 13. PP 2694-2706.