Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

The “weekend effect”

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 19 May 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2801
  1. Fiona Godlee, editor in chief
  1. The BMJ
  1. fgodlee{at}

“Almost nothing is clear in this tangled tale,” says Martin McKee in his editorial on the so called weekend effect (doi:10.1136/bmj.i2750). So this week we try to help make sense of what we know and what we don’t know about the apparent association between weekend admission to hospital and risk of death (doi:10.1136/bmj.i2781).

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of new analyses attempting to enlighten this increasingly heated and politicised debate. Two papers in particular concluded that data artefacts or case mix (or both) were to blame for the apparent effect. The first, …

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