Science is cumulative, but scientists don’t accumulate evidence scientifically

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  • Format Audio, Texts
  • Target Audience Self-directed learning
  • EBM Stage 0 - Why EBM?
  • Duration <5 mins
  • Difficulty Intermediate

Key Concepts addressed


‘Academic researchers have been talking about something called “cumulative meta-analysis” for 25 years: essentially, you run a rolling meta-analysis on a given intervention, and each time a trial is completed, you plug the figures in to get your updated pooled result, to get a feel for where the results are headed, and most usefully, have a good chance of spotting a statistically significant answer as soon as it becomes apparent, without risking lives on further unnecessary research.’

Goldacre B. Bad Science: How pools of blood trials could save lives. The Guardian, 10 May 2008, p16.

Read more in:  Avoidable harm to patients.


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