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Science-Based Approach

 

 

Nutrition Coach Edinburgh

 

The only way of knowing what truly works is by testing it. If we decide that what we believe is based purely on what we see in every day practice, we run a very high risk of getting it wrong.

Why? Because as humans we are easily mistaken and are highly influenced by how things seem. This is essentially why we have science as a tool to protect ourselves from our bias and fallacies, which EVERYONE falls victim to.

Look at the world around you and the complex society we live in. It is all based on using science to make sure things work as we expect them to.

However people are often put off with anything with science mentioned in it because it often seems way too complicated to understand. The reality is however that the basics of science are very straight forward and our aim is to show you just how simple it can be.

If you’re interested in achieving great health then we will show you how you can make sure that you can trust wherever you decide to get your information from regarding any topic you’re interested in.

As advocates of the scientific process we are dedicated to evaluating Personal Training and Physiotherapy methods of relevance to our clients and patients. In doing so we aim to promote the highest standards and traditions of science in Personal Training and Physiotherapy.

Information about exercise and nutrition is overwhelmingly credulous and uncritical and even the media and some medical schools have bought into the hype without asking the hard questions.

 

Our aim is to provide simple honest, science based advice on all aspects of movement, nutrition, sleep, stress and mindset.

Nutrition Coach

 

Good science is the best and only way to determine which treatments and methods are truly safe and effective. This approach is already implemented by Science-Based Medicine which specifically focuses on medical treatments and products.

The idea of Health by Science is to implement a biopsychosocial approach to providing a broader view to answer the question “what works?”. In order to do this we must give more importance to our cumulative scientific knowledge from all relevant disciplines.

A problem with a Science Based Approach is that what we support is often overshadowed by what we oppose: those training and health practices that are not based in science and reality.

Those who promote controversial supplements, intense workouts and quick fix nutrition protocols are well organised, well funded and have exceptional marketing strategies which unfortunately dominate the public media.

In contrast there are no organisations devoted to promoting Science-Based Personal Training and Physiotherapy.

This is due in part to the expertise it requires to critically address issues related to misinformation and if you have not spent a life immersed in sports science and the scientific literature, it is more difficult to critique a study on the efficacy of methods.

 

However. Achieving great health is a team sport. Personal Training cannot be practiced by focusing on exercise and nutrition alone. This is why we also look at sleep, stress and mindset.

Working with and researching and analysing the work of the world’s leading nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches, neuroscientists and psychologists during our journal clubs to ensure that our service continues to get exceptional results.

This allows us to better understand the complex issues around achieving great health, both science based and fantasy based.

 

Quality Improvement Science

Health by Science uses the science of improvement for our roadmap for getting results. This ensures that our Personal Training and Physiotherapy services remain the best in the industry.

We are able to stand out from our competition because we use the well researched improvement guide, led by the International Healthcare Institute, rather than relying solely on the more familiar Randomised Controlled Trials.

Randomised controlled trials are considered the gold standard when it comes to single study investigations regarding the safety and efficacy of a treatment or training method. It is well acknowledged however, that very little may be determined from even the most well controlled RCT.

Rather a high quality systematic review, such as those published by the Cochrane Collaboration, are considered the most valid and reliable way of determining whether a treatment or protocol works better than placebo

The greatest strength of RCTs however (being very well controlled), is also their greatest weakness in human behavioural science, as the real world is a complex array of confounding variables. This means that treatments proving to be very efficacious in an RCT, may prove to be unacceptable, ineffective, impractical or too expensive to sustain, in a real-life setting.

While it is possible to test the true efficacy of RCTs in a real world settings, such trials must be enormous in size in order to be powerful enough to account for the huge number of confounding variables. Therefore relying solely on RCTs is not an economical or efficient option for improving healthcare services.

Despite the relatively poor validity and reliability of many social psychology research papers, high quality observational and qualitative studies are needed to explore the complex decision making and behaviours of patients and clients. This is explored in more detail by the Behaviour Change Wheel created at UCL.

While Health Economic research is often guided by RCTs, in order to understand the true costs in realistic settings, then it must also be guided by high quality qualitative data. These are all elements of Translational Research within Medicine and may be used within a framework of improvement science to improve healthcare and delivery of services.

The most significant limitation of relying solely on RCTs, is the problem faced when when trying to compare a new treatment against an established “Usual Treatment” or “Conventional Treatment” when none exist. It would be unacceptable on ethical grounds to offer no treatment when a treatment exists or give a treatment known to be poor for example.

The Model for Improvement, developed by Associates in Process Improvement, is a simple yet powerful tool for accelerating improvement. The model is not meant to replace change models that organizations may already be using, but rather to accelerate improvement.

This model has been used very successfully by hundreds of health care organizations in many countries to improve many different health care processes and outcomes.

 

 

Overall, our guiding principles are mirrored by those of the Society of Science Based Medicine.

Respect for Knowledge and Truth

Health by Science values reality and what is true. We therefore endeavour to be as reality-based as possible in our beliefs and opinions. This means subjecting all claims to a valid process of evaluation.

Methodological Naturalism

Health by Science believes that the world is knowable because it follows certain rules, or laws of nature (also known as basic science). We may then apply the knowledge of basic science and use goal-directed ingenuity to achieve practical results using applied science. The only legitimate methods for knowing anything empirical about the universe follows this naturalistic assumption. In other words within the realm of what is real, you don’t get to invoke magic or the supernatural.

Promotion of Science

Science is the only set of methods for investigating and understanding the natural world. Science is therefore a powerful tool, and one of the best developments of human civilisation. We therefore endeavour to promote the role of science in our health, public understanding of the findings and methods of science, and high quality science education.

This also includes promoting high quality science, which requires examining the process, culture, and institutions of science for flaws, biases, weaknesses, and fraud.

Promotion of Reason and Critical Thinking

Science works hand-in-hand with logic and philosophy, and therefore Health by Science also promotes understanding of these fields and the promotion of critical thinking skills.

Science vs Pseudo-science

Health by Science seeks to identify and highlight the borders between legitimate science and pseudo-science, to expose pseudo-science for what it is, and to promote knowledge of how to tell the difference.

Ideological Freedom/Free Inquiry

Science and reason can only flourish in a secular society in which no ideology is imposed upon individuals.

Neuropsychological Humility

Being a skilled critical thinker requires knowledge of all the various ways in which we deceive ourselves, the limits and flaws in human perception and memory, the inherent biases and fallacies in cognition, and the methods that can help mitigate all these flaws and biases.

 

 

Customer Protection

Health by Science endeavours to protect ourselves and our clients from fraud and deception by exposing fraud and educating clients to recognise deceptive or misleading claims or practices.

Our tribe is made up of people who agree with the concept that the best Personal Training and Physiotherapy should be based on reality and science.

We are a Personal Training and Physiotherapy organisation devoted to understanding and education, exploring issues and controversies in the relationship between science and health and performance.

No amount of hard work or heroism can make up for a poorly designed system.

Health by Science uses an approach to based on principles with respect to our business and service profession.

 

In particular we use the principles of science improvement for our roadmap for getting results. This ensures that our Personal Training and Physiotherapy services remain the best in the industry.

 

We are able to stand out from our competition by practicing a “science-based” approach using the well researched improvement guide, led by the International Healthcare Institute, rather than relying solely on the more familiar “evidence-based” Randomised Controlled Trials.

 

Randomised controlled trials are considered the gold standard when it comes to single study investigations regarding the safety and efficacy of a treatment method. It is well acknowledged however, that very little may be determine from even the most well controlled RCT. Rather a high quality systematic review, such as those published by the Cochrane Collaboration, are considered the most valid and reliable way of determining whether a treatment works better than placebo.

 

The greatest strength of RCTs however (being very well controlled), is also their greatest weakness in human behavioural science, as the real world is a complex array of confounding variables. This means that treatments proving to be very efficacious in an RCT may prove to be unacceptable, ineffective, impractical or too expensive to sustain, in a real-life setting.

 

While it is possible to test the true efficacy of RCTs in a real world settings, such trials must be enormous in size in order to be powerful enough to account for the huge number of confounding variables. Therefore relying solely on RCTs is not an economical or efficient option for improving healthcare.

 

Despite the relatively poor validity and reliability of many social psychology research papers, high quality observational and qualitative studies are needed to explore the complex decision making and behaviours of patients and clients. This is explored in more detail by the Behaviour Change Wheel created at UCL. While Health Economic research is often guided by RCTs, in order to understand the true costs in realistic settings, then it must also be guided by high quality qualitative data. These are all elements of Translational Research within Medicine and may be used within a framework of improvement science to improve healthcare and delivery of services.
The most significant limitation of relying solely on RCTs, is the problem faced when when trying to compare a new treatment against an established “Usual Treatment” or “Conventional Treatment” when none exist. It would be unacceptable on ethical grounds to offer no treatment when a treatment exists or give a treatment known to be poor for example.