AnecdotageBMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7426.1276 (Published 27 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1276
- Jeff Aronson, clinical pharmacologist
Anecdotal reports are classified at the bottom of the recognised hierarchy of evidence that should be used to mould clinical practice, a list that is topped by large randomised clinical trials and systematic reviews. Nevertheless, I have elsewhere argued, in relation to suspected adverse drug reactions and interactions, that there are several important reasons for publishing anecdotes (BMJ 2002;326: 1346). Indeed, nearly a third of the total literature on such reactions is in the form of anecdotal reports, although such reports often fall short of the standard of reportage that they deserve. However, this is not perhaps surprising. Anecdotes were never meant to be published. …
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