understanding statistics


research issues, shared decision making, understanding statistics

e-Patient perspective on evolocumab (that new cholesterol study): beyond the headlines

Please cite this post as “by Dave deBronkart, Marilyn Mann and Peter Elias MD” or, on Twitter, “@ePatientDave, @MarilynMann & @PHEski.” Our blog software only allows listing one author but they provided 2/3 of the content. The medical news is abuzz – and your newspapers will be abuzz – with coverage of a study released […]

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end of life, ethics, understanding statistics

A neurosurgeon confronts his mortality: lessons in statistics and living while you can

Here’s a new “must read” for people with a grim prognosis, submitted by Twitter friend @Scanman (Vijay Sadasivam), from the Tamil region of India: How Long Have I Got Left?, by Stanford neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi. Seven years ago that was my situation. This was the week that a biopsy confirmed that the blobs in my lungs were metastasized kidney […]

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e-patient stories, general, research issues, understanding statistics

“Arm” ourselves with information: Health News Review and 2009’s “war on cancer” post

Some things are what they call “evergreen” – persistent value, never out of date. Two come together for this year-end post. __________ A lot’s changed since our society was formed in 2009, but year after year a core skill for participatory medicine is ability to think for ourselves (including providers) equipped with good information (which is distinctly […]

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ethics, research issues, trends & principles, understanding statistics

Fact checking at Medicine X

(A cross-post from susannahfox.com) I had the great honor of being part of the first Medicine X conference at Stanford University last weekend. I presented a sneak preview of new survey results collected by the Pew Internet Project and the California HealthCare Foundation. Overall, the conference was magical, as I wrote in a previous post. […]

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general, hc's problem list, medical records, policy issues, reforming hc, understanding statistics

Fred Trotter: Data, damn data, and statistics

Why does this blog use the word “damn” so often? A search produces a whopping 38 hits, such as: Fools! Damn fools! And Medical Science (Right, Santa??) Atlantic: Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science “Gimme my damn data!” The stage is being set to enable patient-driven disruptive innovation Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics: Collective Statistical […]

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e-pts resources, research issues, understanding statistics

e-Patient Training via TED Talk: “Battling Bad Science”

We’ve often said here that when an e-patient wants to be responsible for treatment decisions, it’s essential to know how to evaluate the research about each option. A common mistake is to trust, blindly, news reports about a treatment, or even to trust, blindly, the journal articles that our clinicians read. Ben Goldacre (Twitter @BenGoldacre) […]

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e-patient stories, end of life, general, patient networks, pts as teachers, understanding statistics

Tami Boehmer: Hope versus statistics

Guest blogger Tami Boehmer shares a recent conversation with e-Patient Dave about the pitfalls of survival statistics and the power of hope. Tami’s blog, “From Incurable to Incredible,” is at www.miraclesurvivors.com. I recently had the honor of speaking with Dave deBronkart, widely known as “e-Patient Dave.” Dave is the leading spokesperson for the e-Patient movement […]

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general, news & gossip, research issues, trends & principles, understanding statistics

Why Sometimes Health Reporting Should be Done By Journalists

I’m all for citizen journalism, and can even stand the content mills like LiveStrong, who have pimped out their name and brand in order to make a quick buck. But I draw the line with bad reporting and worse, biased representation of the data to prove a point. Case in point — the blood test […]

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found on the net, understanding statistics

Richard Smith: Beware journals, especially “top” ones (BMJ blog)

e-Patients who want to collaborate with their physicians, and be responsible for their medical decisions, need to clearly understand what constitutes good evidence. It’s not always easy…


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general, shared decision making, understanding statistics, Why PM

Ellen Hoenig Carlson: Patients Beware – 1 Out of 3 Subject to Hospital Error

This guest post by SPM member Ellen Hoenig Carlson was inspired by a study on the prevalence of medical errors, published in the April issue of Health Affairs. Medical errors are one of the nation’s leading causes of death and injury. The famed 1999 Institute of Medicine study, “To Err Is Human,” estimated that avoidable […]

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