Treatment (therapia) is a set of measures aimed at eliminating the suffering of a sick person and restoring health. The prevention of diseases and the treatment of patients are the main categories of medicine as a science and constitute the ultimate goal of theoretical and practical medicine.
The cause of unsuccessful therapeutic measures in the past was often uncritical transfer of experience data from a healthy person to a patient; with the success of the treatment of one disease, the same method of treatment was extended to other diseases; Based on the results of experiments on healthy animals, the same methods were used on a sick person. It must be borne in mind that a sick person responds differently to a healthy effect than a healthy person, that the body’s response to any stimulus in various diseases is very different and sometimes opposite.
Evaluation of the therapeutic effect of various therapeutic agents and methods is a difficult task of medicine. An uncritical attitude towards the primitive rule “post hoc ergo propter hoc” (“after this means therefore because of this”) is the most frequent source of treatment errors. It is also known that the relationship of cause and effect is not direct, but mediated by any effects on a living organism, including medical ones.
To determine the therapeutic effect of a drug for a disease, it is necessary to know the natural course of the disease, its duration and outcomes; due to the diversity of these data, it is necessary to observe a large number of patients and to display statistical indicators of the course of the disease, the percentage of recovery or death, etc. With these initial data, you should compare the results obtained by treatment with a specific method. Evaluation of treatment in acute diseases is easier than in chronic diseases, often of an indefinite course. In addition to the equivalence of the results of therapeutic experience, objective and quantitative indicators are crucial in assessing the effects of treatment. Always take into account the importance of the mental factor in the testing of new drugs, so the control group of patients also receive "the same medication" (placebo).
It should be especially noted that just as each patient gives an individual response to a disease-causing cause, so usually there is an individual response to a therapeutic agent.