Saturday, November 21, 2015

Treatment Scores: We Write Review Articles in a New Way - with Quantification and Graphics

At TreatmentScores.com we write medical review articles just like you would do for any popular website for the lay public. What we do differently is we focus on evidence-based medicine, treatment effects, and quantification. And, for the time being we publish our reviews here at the TreatmentScoresBlog.com with graphics that are generated using our tools.

You begin by doing "journal club." You figure out a diagnosis. You search for the best statistics from the best medical articles and you create STAR™ Blocks. STAR™ stands for a statistic and a reference. You put all the statistics in a Treatment Score Calculator™ and you put the net treatment benefit on a 100 point scale to make it easy to understand. We are not doing anything different than in regular medical review article, we are just organizing it better, especially when it comes to reporting the treatment effects.

When you actually do the evidence-based medicine process you find out that there are usually only a small number of high quality studies with the treatment effect statistics that you need. Often there are no high quality studies.

We establish one outcome measure, and we use that main outcome measure, as the starting point for quantifying all the different treatments on the same treatment effect scale. We try to use the main outcome measure that is most important to the patient. We report the data as the SOM® Treatment Score.

We want to show the world how to do evidence-based medicine, and we want to demonstrate to the world the potential we have for doing medical review articles in a new and better way.

We need people to see why we need to go from an Alpha website to a Beta website. Better technology will help us to come up with revelations more quickly. By using the universal SOM® Treatment Scores we make treatment effects that are impossible to understand now, almost instantly understandable.

What's the absolute easiest way to explain this? Right now so many different outcome measures and treatment effects are reported in the medical literature that everyone is confused. One study found that 60 to 80% of physicians could not correctly figure out the treatment effects in a study about chronic pain.
(http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2015/10/26/cmaj.150430)

If the majority of physicians are confused, it's probably fair to say that almost all patients are confused. Patients are inadequately informed and inadequately educated about their treatments.

You also have a highly reputable evidence-based medicine physician who has published a famous essay: "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False."
http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

We also have this well-written articlee: "The unreliability of systematic reviews."
http://rapid-reviews.info/2015/11/15/the-unreliability-of-systematic-reviews-2/

The bottom line is that evidence-based medicine is in a state of confusion due to lack of organization and a lack of understandable quantification.

The list of treatments for insomnia that I'm working on now is an excellent example. For one treatment, the authors report the Cohen's d statistic as a measure of the effect size. The Cohen's d statistic makes it sound like the treatment has a medium to large treatment effect. This actually seems misleading to me. By doing manual calculations I believe net treatment benefit is around 8%, maybe less. That's pretty low. Although the treatment has a positive net benefit according to the statistics, one must ask if it is a clinically significant benefit.

Why doesn't every review article in the medical literature simply list all the treatments and list all the treatment effects on one scale, i.e. the SOM® Treatment Score? When you have something like the diagnosis of acute migraine headache, which has 57 possible treatments or more in the medical literature, standardizing the reporting of the treatment effect would make everything much more simple.

We are trying to mentor and teach the whole world evidence-based medicine. Once we get enough bloggers, and enough examples, so that the entire world starts to understand that all treatment effects can be quantified in a standard way for the benefit of patients, doctors, nurses, health related businesses, and governments around the world, I think we can do something very important for mankind.

In the future we want SOM® Treatment Scores to become a really important part of your daily lexicon.

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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 SOM® 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 in the past they do not predict the future.

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