Why non-pharmaceutical treatments?

Non-drug treatments (exercises, procedures, self-management, etc) are often as effective and as safe, or safer than their pharmaceutical cousins but are poorly described, poorly “marketed”, and therefore little used.

In 2013 we initiated, with the RACGP, the Handbook of Non-Drug Interventions (HANDI) that mirrors existing pharmacopoeias, including indications, contraindications and ‘dosing’, and aims to make ‘prescribing’ a non-drug therapy as easy and precise as writing a prescription. We are doing further research in three areas: (A) systematic reviews and/or trials of potential new non-drug treatments for HANDI; (B) Better uptake of the existing evidence-based treatments in HANDI; and (C) Development and evaluation of patient versions to enhance treatment fidelity and enable decision aids.

The topics in HANDI have been developed by the HANDI Project team and is supported by appropriate evidence.

Top publications

  1. Hoffmann, T.C., Erueti, C., Glasziou, P.P., 2013. Poor description of non-pharmacological interventions: analysis of consecutive sample of randomised trials. BMJ, 347, f3755.
  2. Hoffmann, T.C., Maher, C.G., Briffa, T., Sherrington, C., Bennell, K., Alison, J., Singh, M.F., Glasziou, P.P., 2016. Prescribing exercise interventions for patients with chronic conditions. CMAJ, 188(7), pp.510-518.
  3. Hoffmann, T.C., Oxman, A.D., Ioannidis, J.P., Moher, D., Lasserson, T.J., Tovey, D.I., Stein, K., Sutcliffe, K., Ravaud, P., Altman, D.G., Perera, R., 2017. Enhancing the usability of systematic reviews by improving the consideration and description of interventions. BMJ, 358, j2998.
  4. Glasziou, P.P., Chalmers, I., Green, S., Michie, S., 2014. Intervention synthesis: a missing link between a systematic review and practical treatment (s). PLoS medicine, 11(8), p.e1001690.
  5. Glasziou, P., 2013. Making non-drug interventions easier to find and use. Australian Family Physician, 42(1-2):35