Getting the message across

There’s a rather neat editorial in BMC Medicine that discusses how academics might better write their papers to inform and influence policy makers. I was taken with how much the tone of this, and the excellent mini-series of blogs on presentation skills by @ffolliett, were similar and applied to all sorts of layers of ‘policy’ making. Take […]

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Realist reviews

There’s a not-so-new kid on the systematic review block that seeks to cogently and comprehensive look at if, why (or why not) an intervention ‘package’ works in practice. They are ‘realist reviews‘ which, in brief, take a slightly different idea to how things work than the standard medical researchers might. The reviews aim to unpick […]

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Well I never thought of that …

For no particular reason I can think of I bumped into this RCT of “Intraurethral Lidocaine for Urethral Catheterization in Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial” and thought, initially, “Well that’s a waste of money and effort and quite unreasonably uncomfortable for the poor little things that got un-anesthetised”. (My very first job was on an […]

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What’s stopping you?

Actually turning the fascinating discussions you all have (I’m sure) over breakfast, beer or bovril about the latest systematic reviews, touching on all elements of critical appraisal from their complex search to their use of mixed logistic regression meta-analysis into action is, sometimes, difficult. We all stop on our course from asking questions, through acquiring […]

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Interventions without evidence should not be undertaken. Discuss.

It’s been a ‘debate topic’ from a number of conferences, medical student societies and online fora. Should an intervention without evidence ever be undertaken? There’s a couple of key elements here: one – the idea that there can be an intervention ‘with no evidence’, and two – that an absence of evidence should be interpreted an evidence of absence […]

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Re-building pyramids

The idea of the pyramid of evidence – where a systematic review, or even better, a meta-analysis, trumps all below it – is something that’s passed into mythical status in evidence based practice. Actually, mythical is probably a good way of thinking about it. It’s not real, not really real. But it’s not quite truthless […]

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