Clinical Review

Interpreting the evidence

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 14 September 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:587
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner.
  1. Maryhill Health Centre, Glasgow G20 9DR

    Evidence based medicine is the holy grail of medical practice—well, that is what some of us think. Remember, however, the dangers of meta-analysis,1 and even “quality sources” must be treated with some suspicion. Dark forces such as publication bias, pharmaceutical vested interest, incomplete search databases, and publication fraud are at work. Remember the first rule of medicine: “Do no harm.”2

    Although the quality of the data in this review is good, it is important to be conscious of …

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