In session 85 of PT Inquest Erik and JW discuss a recent systematic review of physical agents. From the 10,000+ articles published over the past 20 years, only 23 were deemed to be of sufficient quality, albeit only “moderate”.
They discuss ‘Tooth Fairy’ science – the act of conducting an excellent scientific study based on a concept which is meaningless. For example, it would be entirely possible to determine if the amount of money under a pillow is correlated with socioeconomic status, or perhaps the value of the home. The study quality could be excellent, however it is meaningless in terms of the existence of the tooth fairy.
Here’s Erik’s summary of this scenario; it made me laugh!!
If you don’t know the specific effects of what you’re doing, instead of the non-specific effects – pain change, function change -you’re basically just flinging shit against the wall. What a lot of these studies are doing are looking for responders in different groups. So you’ve flung the shit against this wall versus that wall, so at the end of the day, you’re still just flinging shit against the wall, and that’s not quality. Unless you’re doing a faecal study.
JW: Then we’d have good faeces validity.