Intended for healthcare professionals


Number who benefit per unit of treatment may be a more appropriate measure

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 13 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1270
  1. Mark Pickin,
  2. Jon Nicholl
  1. Senior registrar in public health Professor of health services research Medical Care Research Unit, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DA

    EDITOR,—Like Richard J Cook and David L Sackett1 and many others,2 3 we are enthusiastic about the advantages of using the “number to treat” as a clinically useful measure of the effect of treatment. It is not, however, a universal panacea. In research into health services in which the unit of treatment or intervention and cost is a group or population …

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