open access

Vol 6, No 1 (2001)
Untitled
Published online: 2001-01-01
Submitted:
Get Citation

35. How often medical literature may be a source of incorrect clinical decision?

K. Bujko, M.P. Nowacki, W. Michalski
DOI: 10.1016/S1507-1367(01)70405-1
·
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2001;6(1):43.

open access

Vol 6, No 1 (2001)
Untitled
Published online: 2001-01-01
Submitted:

Abstract

Change in clinical practice results mainly from positive randomized trials (superiority of tested method confirmed by significant result of statistical test). However, the rate of false positive trials might be high among all positive trials – even 30%–50%. This percentage depends mainly on the rate of trials with a real difference in efficacy between tested methods; in lesser extend it depends on a level of type II error (a number of patients in a trial). The probable high rate of false positive trials among all positive trials indicates that a risk of undertaking of incorrect clinical decision based on literature may be also high. In addition, this risk is increased due to publication bias. Therefore, confirmatory trials are often necessary. The other issue, which might be a source of incorrect clinical decision, is lack of data enabling an assessment of generalizability of trial results: 1. a number of eligible but not enrolled patients and the reasons for treatment outside trial; 2. a comparison of a characteristic of patients on trial with a characteristic of eligible, but not enrolled patients; 3. a comparison of results of treatment of patients on trial with results of treatment of eligible, but not enrolled patients 4. data of referral pattern and information on the source population, from which patients were selected.

Abstract

Change in clinical practice results mainly from positive randomized trials (superiority of tested method confirmed by significant result of statistical test). However, the rate of false positive trials might be high among all positive trials – even 30%–50%. This percentage depends mainly on the rate of trials with a real difference in efficacy between tested methods; in lesser extend it depends on a level of type II error (a number of patients in a trial). The probable high rate of false positive trials among all positive trials indicates that a risk of undertaking of incorrect clinical decision based on literature may be also high. In addition, this risk is increased due to publication bias. Therefore, confirmatory trials are often necessary. The other issue, which might be a source of incorrect clinical decision, is lack of data enabling an assessment of generalizability of trial results: 1. a number of eligible but not enrolled patients and the reasons for treatment outside trial; 2. a comparison of a characteristic of patients on trial with a characteristic of eligible, but not enrolled patients; 3. a comparison of results of treatment of patients on trial with results of treatment of eligible, but not enrolled patients 4. data of referral pattern and information on the source population, from which patients were selected.

Get Citation
About this article
Title

35. How often medical literature may be a source of incorrect clinical decision?

Journal

Reports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy

Issue

Vol 6, No 1 (2001)

Pages

43

Published online

2001-01-01

DOI

10.1016/S1507-1367(01)70405-1

Bibliographic record

Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2001;6(1):43.

Authors

K. Bujko
M.P. Nowacki
W. Michalski

Important: This website uses cookies. More >>

The cookies allow us to identify your computer and find out details about your last visit. They remembering whether you've visited the site before, so that you remain logged in - or to help us work out how many new website visitors we get each month. Most internet browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can change the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer.

By "Via Medica sp. z o.o." sp.k., ul. Świętokrzyska 73, 80–180 Gdańsk, Poland
tel.:+48 58 320 94 94, fax:+48 58 320 94 60, e-mail: journals@viamedica.pl