A new edition of the book “Testing Treatments” is available – online as a pdf file and for free! Amazing.
British physician-writer Ben Goldacre, who wrote the foreword in the book, blogged:
“People often ask if there’s one good book that is accessible to all, about how evidence based medicine works. The answer is undoubtedly “Testing Treatments”.
This book should be in every school, and every medical waiting room. Until then, it’s in your hands. Read on.”
Chapter headings, just to entice you:
New – but no better or even worse
Used but inadequately tested
Key concepts in fair tests of treatments
Dealing with uncertainty about the effects of treatments
Clinical research: the good, the bad, and the unnecessary
Less research, better research, and research for the right reasons
Improving tests of treatments is everybody’s business
Blueprint for a revolution
Feeling a bit revolutionary, I went right for that last chapter and found this blueprint:
1. Encourage honesty when there are uncertainties about the effects of treatments
2. Confront double standards on consent to treatment offered within and outside clinical trials
3. Increase knowledge about how to judge whether claims about treatment effects are trustworthy
4. Increase the capacity for preparing, maintaining, and disseminating systematic reviews of research evidence about the effects of treatments
5. Tackle scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest within the clinical research community
6. Require industry to provide better, more complete, and more relevant evidence about the effects of treatment
7. Identify and prioritise research addressing questions about the effects of treatments which are deemed important by patients and clinicians
Enough excerpts. Time for you to dig in on your own.