The Sensitive Nervous System Chapter XIII: Research and Neurodynamics: Is Neurodynamics Worthy of Scientific Merit?

This is a summary of Chapter XIII of “The Sensitive Nervous System” by David Butler.


Research has demonstrated that often evidenced-based medicine is low on the list for why clinicians choose a particular treatment. From an ethical standpoint, it is important to consider evidence. This chapter is very short so I will just provide the highlights that I got from it.

Appraising a New Theory or Approach

There are six criteria that a new theory should be evaluated by:

1)      Support from anatomical and physiological evidence.

2)      Designed for a specific population.

3)      Studies from peer-reviewed journals.

4)      Include a well-designed randomized controlled trial or single experiment.

5)      Present potential side effects.

6)      Proponents discuss and are open to limitations.


Here are some definitions of different ways research measures agreement.

–          Cohen’s Kappa: Measures nominal data reliability.

  • >0.75 is excellent agreement.
  • 0.40-0.75 is fair to good.
  • <0.40 is poor.

–          Pearson product movement correlation: Measures interval/ratio data.

–          ICC: Measures continuous data.

  • The closer to 1, the better.


There are also many different validity types defined throughout this chapter. The first two are proven through logic and have the least evidence support.

–          Construct Validity: Valid relative to a theoretical foundation.

–          Content Validity: Can I use this measure to make an inference?

The next two are higher up on the evidence support hierarchy.

–          Convergent Validity: The test shows a correlation between two variables.

–          Discriminant Validity: The test shows a low correlation between two variables.

Lastly, these are criterion-based tests that infer similar results compared to an established test.

–          Concurrent Validity: the compared tests are performed at the same time.

–          Predictive Validity: The tests are compared at different dates.

If only EBP were as exciting as evidence-based law.