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Synthesizing Evidence

Synthesizing Evidence VIEWPOINT Shifting the Focus From Individual Studies to the Body of Evidence 3. Calibrate confidence in the estimates based on the M. Hassan Murad, MD, MPH true magnitude of precision. When studies are combined Victor M. Montori, MD, MSc in meta-analysis, the inconsistency in results among stud- ies adds a level of uncertainty. This uncertainty is incorpo- HE RESEARCH ENTERPRISE BEHAVES AS IF A SINGLE rated into a wider confidence interval around the meta- study could provide the ultimate answer to a analytic estimate. Therefore, when results are inconsistent, clinical question. Researchers offer overoptimis- the relative precision around the estimate of effect from a Ttic sample-size calculations and other design fea- single study will overestimate the precision that the study tures to convince funders and institutional review boards contributes to the accumulating evidence. To gain a cor- that their study will provide the answer. Medical journals rect sense of the precision of the estimates of effect, the body and the popular media highlight single studies, too often of evidence should be considered. without regard to similar studies. Only a small propor- 4. Improve the usefulness of results to clinical deci- tion of trials have been synthesized into systematic sion http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

Synthesizing Evidence

JAMA , Volume 309 (21) – Jun 5, 2013

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright 2013 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.2013.5616
pmid
23736731
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

VIEWPOINT Shifting the Focus From Individual Studies to the Body of Evidence 3. Calibrate confidence in the estimates based on the M. Hassan Murad, MD, MPH true magnitude of precision. When studies are combined Victor M. Montori, MD, MSc in meta-analysis, the inconsistency in results among stud- ies adds a level of uncertainty. This uncertainty is incorpo- HE RESEARCH ENTERPRISE BEHAVES AS IF A SINGLE rated into a wider confidence interval around the meta- study could provide the ultimate answer to a analytic estimate. Therefore, when results are inconsistent, clinical question. Researchers offer overoptimis- the relative precision around the estimate of effect from a Ttic sample-size calculations and other design fea- single study will overestimate the precision that the study tures to convince funders and institutional review boards contributes to the accumulating evidence. To gain a cor- that their study will provide the answer. Medical journals rect sense of the precision of the estimates of effect, the body and the popular media highlight single studies, too often of evidence should be considered. without regard to similar studies. Only a small propor- 4. Improve the usefulness of results to clinical deci- tion of trials have been synthesized into systematic sion

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: Jun 5, 2013

References