Can you actually believe the abstract?

There is a guilty thing that I have to admit doing. Frequently. And that’s just reading the abstract, not the full paper. (Generally this is in scooting through tangential stuff. Honest.)

Well in the Journal of Evidence based Medicine, behind our BMJ paywall, is a lovely piece of primary research examining exactly how guilty we should feel. It’s been noted previously that abstracts contain omissions and different information than those reported in the main paper, but in this evaluation the impact of those differences is assessed. It’s lovely to learn that although there are extra bits and bits missed out, most significant elements of the paper are presented accurately and we don’t need to worry too much when we’re running short of time and still trying to undertake EBM.

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