EBM library: Systematic reviews to support humanitarian medicine

The EBM library signposts some essential reading for the practice of Evidence Based Medicine. In this part of the library we highlight the role of systematic reviews in humanitarian medicine. Systematic reviews have made significant contributions to the pool of best available evidence in healthcare. In a previous post, we explored the importance of systematic … More EBM library: Systematic reviews to support humanitarian medicine

EBM library: Systematic reviews in policymaking – part 2

The EBM library signposts some essential reading for the practice of Evidence-Based Medicine. In this part of the library, we highlight papers that reflect the role of systematic reviews in policymaking. In part 1 of this series two papers highlighted why systematic reviews are important in policymaking, and some challenges this may bring. In this second part, we … More EBM library: Systematic reviews in policymaking – part 2

EBM Library – Systematic reviews in policymaking: part 1

The EBM library signposts some essential reading for the practice of Evidence-Based Medicine. In this part of the library, we highlight papers that reflect the role of systematic reviews in policymaking. One of the purposes of conducting systematic reviews is to provide accessible evidence to inform clinical decisions. In healthcare, they may target patients, clinicians, … More EBM Library – Systematic reviews in policymaking: part 1

Using systematic reviews to reduce research waste—who really cares?

The global spend on biomedical research and development is estimated to be about $250 billion (£203 bn; €233 bn) each year—a not insignificant figure. In fact, it roughly equates to the amount that the UK government spends each year on its combined education, defence, and welfare budget. But suppose you heard that the UK government’s … More Using systematic reviews to reduce research waste—who really cares?

Why clinical trial outcomes fail to translate into benefits for patients

Carl Heneghan, Ben Goldacre, Kamal R. Mahtani Clinical research should ultimately improve patient care. For this to be possible, trials must evaluate outcomes that genuinely reflect real-world settings and concerns. However, many trials continue to measure and report outcomes that fall short of this clear requirement. We highlight problems with trial outcomes that make evidence … More Why clinical trial outcomes fail to translate into benefits for patients

A CRASH course on the importance of systematic reviews in healthcare

“The notion of systematic review – looking at the totality of evidence – is quietly one of the most important innovations in medicine over the past 30 years.” – Ben Goldacre, 2011 What would make someone speak so highly of this type of research? Let us answer that by considering a case study, which itself … More A CRASH course on the importance of systematic reviews in healthcare

Acupuncture for baby colic? – here’s my gripe

Many parents will know that managing the common problem of colic, in an otherwise healthy baby, can be very distressing. Symptoms usually present as excessive, and frequent, bouts of crying, often from about 6 weeks of age. Although the exact cause of colic is not known, it is generally found to be a self-limiting condition.[1] … More Acupuncture for baby colic? – here’s my gripe

‘Spin’ in reports of clinical research

Based on a previous blog and now published in the BMJ Evidence Based Medicine Journal . Abstract Clinical research is frequently hampered by flaws in its design or conduct. Such biases have been well documented. However, reports of clinical research may also be biased and present results in a more favourable way than they deserve … More ‘Spin’ in reports of clinical research

Have clinical trials of NOACs been fair tests of treatments for atrial fibrillation patients?

Patients must live with uncertainty until we have independent scrutiny of key trial data Warfarin reduces the risk of stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation but has limitations: a narrow therapeutic window, the need for regular monitoring, and risks of bleeding and drug-drug interactions. Partly because of these limitations, novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs or … More Have clinical trials of NOACs been fair tests of treatments for atrial fibrillation patients?