Media Guide to this
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of this web site:
The goal of this website is to increase awareness of what constitutes a valid and reliable
medical study. By closely examining
prior examples of poorly constructed and questionably interpreted studies, it is hoped that
it will be easier to recognize limitations and pitfalls that may exist in
current medical trials at the time they are being reported.
The center column of this web page is a guide to some
of the topics that may be of interest in this website.
Potential questions to
consider asking of a medical study
What did the trial actually prove and what part of
the authors’ conclusions remains speculation? (Conclusions that go beyond what the data warrants represent the
most common problem in clinical trials published today.)
TOPICS OF POTENTIAL INTEREST FOR MEDIA:
topics are in download files: click
1. A look at the study that
ended the oat bran fad.
Death of the oat bran fad.
(Murdered by a poorly conceived study.)
2. Lessons from an unusual saga of possible fraud in the literature
The Columbia '
Celebrex: How the initial article that admirably raised public awareness of the potential risks of Vioxx and Celebrex was right about Celebrex for the wrong reason.
What was invalid in the statistical analysis of the
initial article in regards to the assessment of Celebrex?
Inappropriate subgroup analysis is a recurring temptation in the medical
literature. The Hazards of Subgroup Analysis
Geminis really different?)
ALLHAT Trial Critique. The
controversy that occurred immediately following ALLHAT trial publication was a
marker for conclusions that extended beyond a reasonable and conservative
interpretation of the data. ALLHAT trial critique
The pregnancy and alcohol section is a bit of an
eye opener in regards to the foundations of some of our general health recommendations.
The foundations of some of these recommendations may not be as secure as usually
assumed. This area of the website discusses some of the strengths and limitations of epidemiologic research.
Pregnancy and alcohol, what do some of the studies really suggest?
A list of questions to consider regarding a
A statistical analysis
that was so bad that it may have led to improvement of a major medical journal.
(A story of improvement.)
The Reparative Power of
Science: Revisit these controversies "10
Large randomized clinical trials and meta-analyses will define the guidelines
for patient care. The following topics may
help in understanding of some of the issues involved in these type of studies:
A meta-analysis adds similar smaller trials together in an
attempt to better assess the effects of a treatment. Often
a meta-analysis is thought of as the final word concerning a medical topic.
A topic that receives relatively little attention today regards potential
weaknesses of meta-analyses.
The Very Large Randomized
Clinical Trial (Strengths and Limitations)
(This type of trial is increasingly
and appropriately used to make recommendations on how to treat patients.
Information on recognizing a well conducted large
trial is presented.)
A Tale of Two Large Trials
A recent stellar large clinical trial is compared to a large
clinical trial with poorly formulated conclusions. Both these trials effect current treatment guidelines for
Meta-analyses bearing False Gifts
A meta-analysis written by a strong proponent
of one side of a controversy is particularly
few topics have download files in addition to the other information available:
The hazards of subgroup analysis.
Are Geminis really different? "print
Death of the oat bran fad
The ALLHAT hypertension trial--
a detailed critique "print
Is this meta-analysis
decide in 30 seconds. "print
Celebrex-- an unreliable cross trial comparison "print
An informal perspective on the sequence of events: A
Perspective on Celebrex, Vioxx, and Naprosyn
Miscounted and Misinterpreted. How not to conduct a
NEJM cath study "print
A Tale of Two Trials-
A superbly conducted trial contrasted to a
suboptimally interpreted trial:
Limitations of Meta-analysis:
Lessons from an unusual saga of possible fraud in the literature