Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (DUETs)

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  • Format Websites
  • Language/s English
  • Target Audience Further education, Researchers, Self-directed learning
  • EBM Stage 1 - Asking focused questions
  • Difficulty Intermediate

Key Concepts addressed


DUETs is now published by NICE via NHS Evidence.  They are treatment uncertainties that have been systematically identified from patients, carers, clinicians, and from research recommendations, covering a wide variety of health problems.

Click the link above, then enter your search terms to find uncertainties relevant to your topic.

Where do the uncertainties published in UK DUETs come from?

UK DUETs draws on three main sources to identify uncertainties about the effects of treatments:

  • patients’, carers’ and clinicians’ questions about the effects of treatment
  • research recommendations in reports of systematic reviews of existing research and in clinical guidelines, in which knowledge gaps are revealed
  • ongoing research, both in the form of systematic reviews in progress and new ‘primary’ studies.

Why is it important to know about treatment uncertainties?

Patients and the public have a right to expect that research funders, researchers and health professionals are aware of uncertainties about the effects of treatments. Knowing about uncertainties tells us where further research is needed. Ignoring treatment uncertainties puts patients at risk.

By making uncertainties known:

  • patients can see where evidence about the effects of treatments is lacking
  • researchers and research funders can take account of where their efforts and resources are needed.


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