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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 243-251

How knowledgeable are investigators studying therapies of traditional medicines?

1 Institute of Applied Dermatology, Kasaragod, India
2 Social Science division, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kudlu, Kasaragod, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Saravu R Narahari
Director, Institute of Applied Dermatology, IAD Junction, Uliyathadka, Madhur Road, Kasaragod - 671 124, Kerala
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Source of Support: National Science and Technology Management Information System (NSTMIS), Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8520.153734

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Context: Research methodology in traditional Indian system of medicine. Aim: To determine the knowledge level of investigators conducting clinical trials in traditional medicines (TMs) including Ayurveda. Materials and Methods: This was a questionnaire survey conducted for selected researchers trained in any specialty and working in TM. 2087 researchers were selected based on selection criteria. A validated and pretested questionnaire containing the questions regarding regulatory issues, literature search, evidence-based medicine, clinical trial design, patient selection, and study reporting were sent either through E-mail or post. The answered questionnaires were analyzed. The parameters were analyzed based on median and interquartile range (IQR). Results: Forty two responses were received through E-mail and 21 researchers responded through post. Out of 63, six researchers sent incomplete responses. Among the remaining 57 respondents; 34 (59.6%) investigators had postdoctoral degree, 43 investigators (75.4%) did not receive any structured training on research methodology, 23 (40.4%) had two decades of research experience. Thirty three (74%) of investigators who received government funding didn't have any training on research methodology. Ayurveda experts group had better knowledge compared to pharmaceutical sciences and basic science group although they had a dilemma about conducting clinical evaluation of TM within the specific framework of rigorous clinical pharmacological principles without ignoring the Ayurvedic concepts such as Dosha, Prakruti etc., Investigators below 30 years possessed higher knowledge of research methodology when analyzed based on the age. The respondents working in research organizations, government organizations, and academic institutions had lower knowledge compared to those who were in private organizations/practice. Conclusions: It is recommend that investigators, peer reviewers, and fund managers involved in traditional medicine research need training especially in research methodology.

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