Jon Williamson
University of Kent
Daniel Auker-Howlett
University of Kent (PhD)
Evidence-based medicine, the dominant approach to assessing the effectiveness of clinical and public health interventions, focuses on the results of association studies. EBM+ is a development of EBM that systematically considers mechanistic studies alongside association studies. In this paper we provide several examples of the importance of mechanistic evidence to coronavirus research. Assessment of combination therapy for MERS highlights the need for systematic assessment of mechanistic evidence. That hypertension is a risk factor for severe disease in the case of SARS-CoV-2 suggests that altering hypertension treatment might alleviate disease, but the mechanisms are complex, and it is essential to consider and evaluate multiple mechanistic hypotheses. To be confident that public health interventions will be effective requires a detailed assessment of social and psychological components of the mechanisms of their action, in addition to mechanisms of disease. In particular, if vaccination programmes are to be effective, they must be carefully tailored to the social context; again, mechanistic evidence is crucial. We conclude that coronavirus research is best situated within the EBM+ evaluation framework.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/jep.13438
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,259
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Evidential Proximity, Independence, and the Evaluation of Carcinogenicity.Jon Williamson - 2019 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 25 (6):955-961.
Reinforced Reasoning in Medicine.Daniel Auker-Howlett & Michael Wilde - 2019 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 26 (2):458-464.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Negative Mechanistic Reasoning in Medical Intervention Assessment.Jesper Jerkert - 2015 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 36 (6):425-437.
Reinforced Reasoning in Medicine.Daniel Auker-Howlett & Michael Wilde - 2019 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 26 (2):458-464.
Mechanisms in Clinical Practice: Use and Justification.Mark R. Tonelli & Jon Williamson - 2020 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (1):115-124.
Can Interventions Rescue Glennan’s Mechanistic Account of Causality?Lorenzo Casini - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):1155-1183.
Mechanisms: What Are They Evidence for in Evidence-Based Medicine?Holly Andersen - 2012 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 18 (5):992-999.
Sex, Love and Coronavirus.Slavoj Žižek - 2020 - International Journal of Žižek Studies 14 (2).


Added to PP index

Total views
16 ( #668,510 of 2,518,485 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #408,186 of 2,518,485 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes