All health researchers should begin their training by preparing at least one systematic review

This is the pre publication script (version 2) of an article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (version 3) One of the founding principles of evidence based medicine is to use the best available evidence to inform decisions made by patients and clinicians.[1] Systematic reviews have made significant contributions to the … More All health researchers should begin their training by preparing at least one systematic review

Can randomised controlled trials be more efficient?

In a previous blog, we discussed the value of reducing waste by conducting appropriate and timely systematic reviews. But how might we increase research efficiency? Well-conducted randomised controlled trials remain the most reliable way to demonstrate the true efficacy and cost-effectiveness for the majority of medical treatments. However, they are not without limitations. The average … More Can randomised controlled trials be more efficient?

How often are outcomes switched in clinical trials? And why does it matter?

Kamal R. Mahtani and Ben Goldacre, part of the COMPare project, write about the prevalence of outcome switching and why it matters. We have been monitoring outcome switching in five top journals, and writing letters to correct the record wherever we have found misreporting. You can read more about our project here, here and here. One peculiar response has been: “you’ve … More How often are outcomes switched in clinical trials? And why does it matter?

Selective reporting bias: types, impact and ways to reduce it

Selective reporting of outcomes is just one type of reporting bias and there are a number of ways in which it can arise. In the previous linked blog we gave an example of the effect of selective reporting bias through under-reporting of data. So what could have been done to avoid the “SwitchBP” scenario? Perhaps … More Selective reporting bias: types, impact and ways to reduce it

Selective reporting bias: do you really need to report every outcome?

A large part of being a scientist is venturing into the unknown. You come up with hypotheses and test them through experiments. The problem is that more often than not, the experiments don’t work. By that I mean that they don’t give you the BIG interesting outcome you were hoping for, the one that will … More Selective reporting bias: do you really need to report every outcome?