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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 847273, 6 pages
Research Article

Understanding Patient Values and the Manifestations in Clinical Research with Traditional Chinese Medicine—With Practical Suggestions for Trial Design and Implementation

1Center for Evidence-Based Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 312 Anshanxi Road, Nankai District, Tianjin 300193, China
2Tianjin Institute for Clinical Evaluation, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 88 Yuquan Road, Nankai District, Tianjin 300193, China

Received 27 September 2013; Accepted 11 November 2013

Academic Editor: Boli Zhang

Copyright © 2013 Wei Mu and Hongcai Shang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To define patient values, identify their manifestations in a randomized clinical trial, and investigate the possible implications for clinical research of traditional Chinese medicine. Methods. We categorized patient values manifestations into patient choice, preference, compliance, and patient-reported outcomes and summarized the underlying personal values through purposeful electronic searches for relevant reports. By hypothesizing a set of positive versus negative circumstances occurring in the enrollment, intervention allocation, treatment, and the follow-up stage of a trial, it is possible to discuss the potential implications of patient values manifestation on a trial with traditional Chinese medicine. Results. Patient values and its manifestations are ubiquitous in the process of clinical research with traditional Chinese medicine. These values may provide motivation for participation or engender the internal and external validity of the study. Conclusions. Trialists should attach sufficient importance to the needs and concerns of individual participant. To incorporate patient values into the design and conduct of a clinical study with traditional Chinese medicine, researchers are recommended to adopt participant-friendly design and use patient-reported outcomes, take convenience-for-patients measures, and help foster rational beliefs and behaviors of trial participants.