I noen minneverdige studier for en del år tilbake tok Geoffrey Dean (psykologiprofessor og tidligere profesjonell astrolog) for seg astrologi som verktøy for astrologers personkarakteristikker. Blant annet lot han en lang rekke av dem forsøke å si noe om hvilke av en stor gruppe horoskoper som var klart ekstroverte og introverte (de var fordelt 50/50). Ikke bare var de som så på horoskopene like ofte korrekte (lite overraskende ca. 50% av gangene) som dem som bare fordelte dem tilfeldig, men de som analyserte horoskopene var ikke enige med hverandre oftere enn tilfeldighetene tilsa heller.

Jeg fikk umiddelbart en assosiasjon til Deans studie etter å ha lest Stephen Barrets begrunnelse for Why TCM Diagnosis Is Worthless.

Han tar for seg en rekke studier av hvordan tradisjonell kinesisk medisin diagnostiserer pasienter og hvilke akupunkturpunkt de knytter behandlingen til. Det var, i og for seg ikke overraskende når man tenker over det, generelt dårlig samsvar mellom de ulike diagnosene og behandlingene:

In another study, six TCM acupuncturists evaluated the same six patients on the same day. Twenty diagnoses and 65 acupoints were used at least once. The diagnosis of «Qi/Blood Stagnation with Kidney Deficiency» and the acupoint UB23 were used for every patient by most acupuncturists. However, consistency across acupuncturists regarding diagnostic details and other acupoints was poor. No diagnoses, and only one acupoint, were used preferentially for a subgroup of patients. Some diagnoses and treatment recommendations were dependent more on the practitioner than on the patient. Fine-grained diagnoses and most acupoints were unrelated to either patient or practitioner. The researchers concluded that TCM diagnoses and treatment recommendations for specific patients with chronic low back pain vary widely from one practitioner to another [3].

Another study examined TCM diagnoses and treatments for patients with chronic low-back pain using two separate sets of treatment records. Information from more than 150 initial visits was available for analysis. A diagnosis of «Qi and Blood Stagnation» or «Qi Stagnation» was made for 85% of patients. A diagnosis of kidney deficiency (or one of its three subtypes) was made for 33%-51% of patients. Other specific diagnoses were made for less than 20% of the patients. An average of 12-13 needles was used in each treatment. Although more than 85 different acupoints were used in each data set, only 5 or 6 acupoints were used in more than 20 of the treatments in each data set. Only two of those acupoints (UB23, UB40) were the same for both sources of data. More than half of the patients received adjunctive treatments, including heat (36%-67%), and cupping (16%-21%). There was substantial variability in treatments among providers [4].

De ulike originalstudiene er lenket opp fra Barrets artikkel.