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Evidence-based medicine: Introduction Part 2

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Evidence-based medicine: Introduction Part 2
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Blog of ReasonHelperUser avatarPosts: 240Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:28 pmLocation: League of Reason

Post Evidence-based medicine: Introduction Part 2

Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:48 pm
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Evidence-based medicine: Introduction Part 2

Good list there Inferno. I would add that the scientific medicine field needs to get much better about publishing negative results. The effectiveness of a drug is impossible to evaluate when a large chunk of the (usually negative) data is missing. Actually, more publication of negative results is something all scientific fields could improve on but it should be especially easy in medicine since understanding negative results are actually vital to the mission of improving people's health.

Bad Pharma is definitely a book I want to read in the near future.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:37 am
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InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Evidence-based medicine: Introduction Part 2

Aught3 wrote:Good list there Inferno. I would add that the scientific medicine field needs to get much better about publishing negative results. The effectiveness of a drug is impossible to evaluate when a large chunk of the (usually negative) data is missing. Actually, more publication of negative results is something all scientific fields could improve on but it should be especially easy in medicine since understanding negative results are actually vital to the mission of improving people's health.


Absolutely! Please note that my list is a super-abbreviated list from the two presented in "Bad Pharma" and "Testing Treatments".
As Ben Goldacre notes, there is a journal purely for negative outcomes, but it's hardly used. That, for once, is not purely the fault of companies, but also of scientists. There seems to be some kind of fear that publishing negative results will... what, make you less cool? IDK...
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:31 am
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Evidence-based medicine: Introduction Part 2

Not really less cool, but less fundable perhaps. There is a weird set of incentives in academic science where success, or the perception of success, is seen to be highly cited journal articles. Positive results are much easier to get published in high ranking journals and negative results can be extremely difficult to put out there. I've had some limited experience with the process and I can't really tell if it's a case of scientists responding to actual incentives or what they perceive to be the incentives. Either way it is to do with the need for funding to continue their research projects.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:03 am
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