Confirmation of Hypotheses in Clinical Medical Science

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 426)


In this chapter I discuss the ways in which information is gathered and used to confirm typical hypotheses encountered in clinical medical science. I discuss three kinds of hypotheses, namely, therapeutic, etiologic, and diagnostic. Therapeutic hypotheses are those concerned with treatments or other interventions, and etiologic hypotheses are those concerned with disease causation. Diagnostic hypotheses are those considered by clinicians when making a diagnosis. Examples from the medical scientific literature are extensively used. Included are an example of a randomized clinical trial and an N of 1 study for therapeutic hypotheses, and cohort, case – control, and cross – sectional studies are used for etiologic hypotheses. Approaches to the confirmation of diagnostic hypotheses are illustrated using actual published cases with discussions of the various strategies that are employed. Some possible pitfalls that may occur in the confirmation process are briefly discussed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Birmingham Radiological GroupBirminghamUSA

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