Healthy Skepticism
Join us to help reduce harm from misleading health information.
Increase font size   Decrease font size   Print-friendly view   Print
Register Log in

Healthy Skepticism Library item: 1893

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Journal Article

Brotons C, Moral I, Ribera A, Cascant P, Iglesias M, Permanyer-Miralda G, Ferreira Gonzalez I, Soler-Soler J.
[Methods of reporting research-results and their influence on decision-making by cardiologists prescribing drugs for primary and secondary prevention.]
Rev Esp Cardiol 2002 Oct; 55:(10):1042-51


OBJECTIVES: To assess the influence of the form of presentation of the results of clinical trials on the quantitative perceptions of cardiologists regarding the efficacy of drugs for the primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and their likelihood of prescribing them.

METHOD: We conducted a survey of 1,408 cardiologists in Spain who were randomly allocated of three questionnaires that used different measurements to evaluate the impact of published clinical trials.

RESULTS: Five-hundred and fifty-nine questionnaires (40%) were suitable for analysis. On a scale of 0 to 10, the following mean efficacy estimates were obtained from questionnaire items that focused, respectively, on the results of clinical trials in terms of relative risk reduction, absolute risk reduction, and number needed to treat: primary prevention with statins: 6.79, 6.38 and 5.43; primary prevention with aspirin: 6.84, 5.06 and 4.25; secondary prevention with statins: 8.16, 7.76 and 7.54; secondary prevention with ACE inhibitors: 7.11, 7.81 and 7.19, and secondary prevention with beta-blockers: 7.22, 7.43 and 6.98. The likelihood that a drug treatment would be prescribed was not influenced very much by the form of presentation of the trial results.

CONCLUSIONS: Presenting the results of clinical trials in the form of relative risk reduction, as compared with presenting results in terms of absolute risk reduction or number needed to treat, led to overestimation of the efficacy of interventions without influencing the likelihood of prescribing a given drug therapy.

Adrenergic beta-Antagonists/therapeutic use Adult Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use Antilipemic Agents/therapeutic use Aspirin/therapeutic use Cardiology* Clinical Trials* Comparative Study Coronary Disease/prevention & control* Decision Making* English Abstract Female Fibrinolytic Agents/therapeutic use Humans Male Middle Aged Primary Prevention Questionnaires Random Allocation Risk Risk Factors


  Healthy Skepticism on RSS   Healthy Skepticism on Facebook   Healthy Skepticism on Twitter

Click to Register

(read more)

Click to Log in
for free access to more features of this website.

Forgot your username or password?

You are invited to
apply for membership
of Healthy Skepticism,
if you support our aims.

Pay a subscription

Support our work with a donation

Buy Healthy Skepticism T Shirts

If there is something you don't like, please tell us. If you like our work, please tell others.

Email a Friend

Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909