Chinese researchers said recently that they have made progress in developing core outcome sets for clinical trials involving traditional Chinese medicine, in a bid to facilitate evaluation of TCM's efficacy.
A core outcome set is a collection of outcomes that should be measured and reported in clinical trials to help researchers appraise the efficacy of a therapy.
Zhang Junhua, a professor at Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and head of the Specialty Committee of Clinical Evaluation of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, said during a recent academic conference that his team has published several core outcome sets related to specific disease types and industry standards, as well as established information platforms and set up regional research centers in the past decade.
More efforts will be made to promote core outcome sets, tailoring foreign protocols to fit domestic situations and create new core outcome sets based on characteristics of TCM, he said.
He commented during the 16th Annual Academic Conference of the Specialty Committee of Clinical Evaluation of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies and the 2nd International Forum on Core Outcome Set of Chinese Medicine that was held in Beijing from Nov 17 to 18.
Zhang said that weaknesses of outcome sets currently used in the TCM field include lack of widespread recognition, failure to reflect the demands of patients, clinical doctors and policymakers as well as wide discrepancies between each other.
Zhang Boli, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a prominent TCM expert, said that elucidating treatment outcomes is an important step in advancing the high-quality development of TCM.
He called for the development of evaluation tools that fit traits of TCM in the future.