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Improving Research on the Efficacy, Effectiveness, and Harms of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Call for Papers

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the major schools of complementary and alternative medicine. It is important to demonstrate its clinical effects including efficacy, effectiveness, and harms. However, conducting clinical trials in TCM is often more challenging than in conventional medicine for its diagnostic and therapeutic complexities. The number of clinical trials and systematic reviews on TCM has increased over the past decade and so has criticism on their methodological rigor. We hope to compile a special issue that can provide guidance on design and reporting of TCM clinical research, focusing on clinical trials and systematic reviews of herbal medicine and acupuncture.

We would like to invite submissions of a wide range of articles, including original research and reviews that can inform researchers and/or stimulate debates, especially in the following areas although other relevant topics will also be considered. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Making TCM trials methodologically sound: Designing placebo controls, pharmacovigilance, studies of harms, real-world research, relevance of phase 4 trials, and methodological assessments of TCM trials with critiques on their strengths and weaknesses
  • Making TCM trials clinically relevant: Choosing PICOS (patient, intervention, comparator, outcome, setting), describing TCM defined diseases and interventions, comparing individualized and fixed therapy treatment, with examples and illustrations
  • Reviewing current studies on the effects of TCM: Current status of clinical trials and systematic reviews, including research trend, achievements, and problems. Lessons learnt from animal studies in evaluating effects of TCM are also welcome
  • Quality assessment, reporting of studies, and systematic reviews on the effects of TCM: Review of current quality assessment tools, methodological issues on systematic reviews, reporting standards for clinical trials and systematic reviews on Chinese herbal medicine and on acupuncture

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal's Author Guidelines, which are located at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/guidelines/. Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at http://mts.hindawi.com/submit/journals/ecam/iret/ according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 5 April 2013
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 28 June 2013
Publication DateFriday, 23 August 2013

Lead Guest Editor

  • Jin-Ling Tang, School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Guest Editors

  • Allan Hackshaw, Cancer Research UK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre, University College London, London, UK
  • Li-Xing Lao, TCM Research Program, Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Bao-Yan Liu, The China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
  • Vincent Chi-Ho Chung, PhD, Assistant Professor in Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, P R China