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Frontiers of Medicine

ISSN 2095-0217

ISSN 2095-0225(Online)

CN 11-5983/R

Postal Subscription Code 80-967

2018 Impact Factor: 1.847

Front Med    2011, Vol. 5 Issue (2) : 163-170     DOI: 10.1007/s11684-011-0143-9
Thinking and practice of accelerating transformation of traditional Chinese medicine from experience medicine to evidence-based medicine
Baoyan Liu1(), Yanhong Zhang2, Jingqing Hu3, Liyun He2, Xuezhong Zhou4
1. China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China; 2. Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China; 3. Guang'anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China; 4. School of Computer and Information Technology, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
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The gradual development of Chinese medicine is based on constant accumulation and summary of experience in clinical practice, but without the benefit of undergoing the experimental medicine stage. Although Chinese medicine has formed a systematic and unique theory system through thousands of years, with the development of evidence-based medicine, the bondage of the research methods of experience medicine to Chinese medicine is appearing. The rapid transition and transformation from experience medicine to evidence-based medicine have become important content in the development of Chinese medicine. According to the features of Chinese medicine, we propose the research idea of “taking two ways simultaneously,” which is the study both in the ideal condition and in the real world. Analyzing and constructing the theoretical basis and methodology of clinical research in the real world, and building the stage for research technique is key to the effective clinical research of Chinese medicine. Only by gradually maturing and completing the clinical research methods of the real world could we realize “taking two ways simultaneously” and complementing each other, continuously produce scientific and reliable evidence of Chinese medicine, as well as transform and develop Chinese medicine from experience medicine to evidence-based medicine.

Keywords Chinese medicine      experience medicine      evidence-based medicine      real world     
Corresponding Authors: Liu Baoyan,   
Issue Date: 05 June 2011
URL:     OR
Fig.1  Research paths and entrances of two kinds of medical models.
Fig.2  The research rate of RCT is rising year by year in clinical research of Chinese medicine.
CategoryWestern medicineChinese medicine
Thinking modelSubstance thinking and energy thinkingInformation thinking
Philosophy foundationReductionismHolism
Breakthrough pointForm and structureMotion state and forms
ObjectivesDiseasesPeople who suffer from diseases
MethodsModel organisms, autopsy, analysis, separation, discriminationObservation, analogy, asking rules
FocusCauses, pathology, pathogenesisEssence, qi, spirit
ConditionIn ideal conditionIn practical condition
FactorsEnvironment, genetic biology, physics, chemistry, behavior, psychologyNature, society, family, culture, philosophy
Research featuresCommon order, homogeneous group, repeatability, statistical probabilityEntirety, dynamics, individualization
Subject featuresDisease prevention and resistance system taking diseases as the left-allopathic medicineHealth protection system taking human as the left-holistic medicine
Tab.1  The difference of theoretical basis between western medicine and Chinese medicine
Basic elementsWestern medicineChinese medicine
PopulationsDiseasesPeople suffering from diseases
InterventionsSimple and indistinct active componentsCompounded and unclear active components
OutcomesAccurate, clear and repeated easilyMulti-element, unclear and personalized
Control groupDistinguished from placebo effect easilyDistinguished from placebo effect uneasily
SettingsResearchers, qualifications, training, bquipments, reagents, sub-leftsResearchers, others, various equipments, medical units
TimeMan-made and changeableContinuous and unchangeable
DoctorsSeparated from interventions clearlyDifficult to separate from interventions clearly
Tab.2  The comparison of evaluation elements between western medicine and Chinese medicine
Fig.3  Integrated technical system of clinical research information.
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