Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Frustration of Evidence-Based Medicine

I have been reading a medical paper about a treatment for insomnia for several days. Why is it taking so long? For one thing, I have to steal five minutes of time here and there to read the paper.

The most frustrating thing of all is that I want to figure out the net treatment benefit of this particular treatment for the patients studied. You would think this would be the easiest statistic to find. However, it's like medical papers always "bury the lead." The treatment statistic I need for the gross treatment benefit was on page 8 out of 10, buried near the end of this very dense, highly technical, medical article, which was full of other statistics that are less important to the patient.

Evidence-based medicine, in my opinion, should be mostly about figuring out the net treatment benefit for the patients studied. However, medical studies are often mostly about other statistics and surrogate outcome measures instead of the absolute value statistics that are really needed.

We need to have the statistics organized so that it is easy to find these things:
  1. gross treatment benefit
  2. side effects
  3. side benefits
Only by doing the equation:
Gross treatment benefit - side effects + side benefits can we understand the net treatment benefit for the patients studied in a medical paper.

We hope to change all the confusion at TreatmentScores.com. We hope to bring clarity to evidence-based medicine by better organizing medical statistics. We hope to help everyone figure out the net treatment benefit much more easily. We call this statistic the Treatment Score. Every diagnosis should have a list of treatments arranged by their treatment scores.



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DISCLAIMERS: You must consult your own licensed physician, or other licensed medical professional, for diagnosis, treatment, and for the interpretation of all medical statistics including Treatment Scores. Treatment Scores are for educational purposes only. Treatment Scores may be incomplete, inaccurate, harmful, or even cause death if used for treatment instead of consulting a licensed medical professional. No medical advice is being given. We DO NOT CLAIM to cure, treat, or prevent any illness or condition. Nor do our services provide medical advice or constitute a physician patient relationship. Contact a physician or other medical professional if you suspect that you are ill. Call emergency services (call 911 if available) or go to the nearest emergency room if an emergency is suspected. We are not responsible for any delays in care from using our website, our services, or for any other reason. We are not responsible for any consequential damages of any nature whatsoever. We make no warranties of any kind in connection with our writings or the use of TreatmentScoresBlog.com or TreatmentScores.com. Treatment Scores are about what happened to patients studied in the past; they do not predict the future.

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