Send to

Choose Destination
J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Dec;10(6):979-84.

n-of-1 randomized controlled trials: an opportunity for complementary and alternative medicine evaluation.

Author information

Complementary and Alternative Research and Education (CARE) Program, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R7, Canada.


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practice has traditionally relied on expert opinion and case examples to evaluate the outcome of a particular therapeutic treatment. Such trials are subject to bias, leading to the formation of erroneous conclusions about the effectiveness of most treatments. This paper reviews the feasibility of n-of-1 trials to better evaluate the clinical and statistical significance of CAM therapies. In particular: (1) problems arising from the use of standard therapeutic trials; (2) the n-of-1 trial and data analysis; (3) clinical use and advantages of the n-of-1 trial in conventional medicine; (4) potential clinical uses of the n-of-1 trial in CAM; (5) preliminary guidelines for the use of the n-of-1 trial in CAM; (6) constraints on the use of the n-of-1 trial in CAM; and (7) ethical issues in the conduct of the n-of-1 trial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center