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

‘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

Beware evidence “spin” : an important source of bias in the reporting of clinical research

Spin [WITH OBJECT] Draw out and twist (the fibres of wool, cotton, or other material) to convert them into yarn, either by hand or with machinery: “they spin wool into the yarn for weaving” Does the name Malcolm Tucker ring a bell? The Malcolm Tucker I am referring to is the fictional character from the … More Beware evidence “spin” : an important source of bias in the reporting of clinical research

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?

Utilising systematic reviews: is another trial necessary or ethical?

You don’t have to look too far to see the benefits of systematic reviews and their summary results. The well known Cochrane logo depicts a real example, highlighting the value of systematically pooling data for meta-analysis and in this case demonstrating the clear benefit of corticosteroids in accelerating lung maturation in preterm babies. Systematic reviews … More Utilising systematic reviews: is another trial necessary or ethical?

Supporting the first Centre for Evidence Based Medicine in Lithuania

In 2013 two students from Lithuania, studying medicine at Oxford, approached us at CEBM asking for our support to hold an outreach workshop in their home town of Vilnius, Lithuania. Their vision was to stimulate more evidence-based thinking for the medical students there who, they felt, were not exposed to enough teaching of critical thinking … More Supporting the first Centre for Evidence Based Medicine in Lithuania