This post courtesy of Anne Taylor-Vaisey:
I was intending to send you this item from the July 13 issue of JAMA, then it popped up in my MedPage Today e-mail alert:
Ioannidis JPA. Contradicted and Initially Stronger Effects in Highly Cited Clinical Research. JAMA 2005;294:218-228.
This is a good chance to remind you of this terrific service from the University of Pennsylvania. MedPage Today provides reviews of breaking medical news as well as action points and CME credit for physicians. There are also links to abstracts and/or full text, where available.
Here are the action points for this article:
MedPage Today Action Points
Advise patients that treatment guidelines should rely on a number of studies rather than evidence from a single trial.
Discuss new clinical research with patients, but suggest that treatment should be based on more than one clinical trial.
Recognize that a perfect gold standard is not possible in clinical research, so we can only interpret results of studies relative to other studies. However, not all studies will be replicated or challenged. In those cases, peer review, randomization, appropriate controls and size of the study are used as barometers of likelihood of accuracy.