understanding statistics


e-pts resources, understanding statistics

e-Patient Beware: Bad Data, Badly Reported

Here’s an interesting (though oddly titled) post by Jon Richman: Lies, Damn Lies and Pharma Social Media Statistics. It is interesting because it beautifully un-packs misreporting on a topic of great interest to e-patients.  It is oddly titled because while the pharmaceutical industry is part of his beat, the errors in reporting on surveys he describes […]

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medical records, news & gossip, research issues, understanding statistics

“Electronic Health Records Do Not Impact the Quality of Healthcare?”

We’ve recently been talking here about problems with poor study design in clinical trials. A health IT version of this problem raced through the newswires this week while I was on the road. The news coverage was particularly naïve, illustrating our point. I’ll say at the outset that I haven’t corresponded with the study’s authors, and […]

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research issues, shared decision making, understanding statistics

Why Almost Everything You Hear About Medicine is Wrong (Newsweek)

Update 1/29: in a comment, Gilles Frydman pointed out that Newsweek’s Sharon Begley wrote this article almost two months before the New Yorker piece appeared – and the editors held the article, apparently due to pressure from a pharma advertiser whose product is cited in the article. Here’s a substantially revised version of this post. […]

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e-pts resources, shared decision making, understanding statistics

Tips for understanding studies (Health News Review)

Update 1/22: this was originally in our “Found on the Net” sidebar, but it’s attracted enough comments that it belongs in the mainstream. I was researching the coverage of statins on Health News Review, the great e-patient resource we’ve often covered, and I stumbled on their page Tips for understanding studies. Good: “does the language […]

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policy issues, research issues, shared decision making, understanding statistics, Why PM

The Decline Effect: Is there something wrong with the scientific method? (New Yorker)

A recurring them on this blog is the need for empowered, engaged patients to understand what they read about science. It’s true when researching treatments for one’s condition, it’s true when considering government policy proposals, it’s true when reading advice based on statistics. If you take any journal article at face value, you may get […]

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shared decision making, understanding statistics, Why PM

“The Difficult Science”: series by Kent Bottles

Kent Bottles MD is one of the best healthcare thinkers I’ve met. Yesterday he completed a two-part tour de force on The Health Care blog titled “The Difficult Science.” Here are part 1 and part 2. This is about “how do we know what we think we know – and what the heck can we do […]

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e-pts resources, practice variation, shared decision making, understanding statistics, Why PM

“Unwarranted practice variation”: an essential e-patient awareness topic

Headline and body edited Oct 6, 2013: the original post talked about “practice variation,” but that was bad wording. The problem is unwarranted practice variation: variation that, when studied, is not warranted by actual differences between cases. ___________ This is the first of the follow-up posts I hope to write from participating last week in […]

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e-pts resources, policy issues, pt/doc co-care, research issues, trends & principles, understanding statistics, Why PM

Salzburg Global Seminar, December 2010: Informing and Involving Patients in Medical Decision Making

All, if you have a story where you were affected by being involved (or not) in a medical decision, please see my request at “Help Me Represent You” below. Same if you have points you want me to bring to this seminar’s attention. I feel extremely fortunate to be attending a five-day Salzburg Global Seminar, […]

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general, policy issues, reforming hc, research issues, understanding statistics

Fixing Those Damn Lies

A new commentary on “Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science,” in the current issue of The Atlantic Monthly. [See also our previous post on the article, with dozens of comments, some of them excellent. And be sure to read Peter’s footnotes. -e-Patient Dave] ____________ One of the best reads now being tweeted through the blogosphere […]

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research issues, understanding statistics

Atlantic: Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science

There’s an extraordinary new article in The Atlantic, “Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science.” It echos the excellent article in our Journal of Participatory Medicine (JoPM) one year ago this week, by Richard W. Smith, 25 year editor of the British Medical Journal: In Search Of an Optimal Peer Review System. JoPM, Oct 21, 2009: […]

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