Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Education And Debate

Systematic reviews from astronomy to zoology: myths and misconceptions

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7278.98 (Published 13 January 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:98

Rapid Response:

Inhuman systematic reviews?

Mark Petticrew brilliantly examines eight common myths about
systematic reviews [1]. It seems that he has forgotten to examine another
myth: medicine based on systematic reviews would be inhuman because it
would be too scientific [2]. To this myth, couldn’t it be answered that in
competent doctors, scientific qualities do not replace, but are associated
with, human qualities? [3]

[1] Petticrew M. Systematic reviews from astronomy to zoology: myths
and misconceptions BMJ 2001;322:98-101 (13 January).

[2] O'Donnell M. Evidence-based illiteracy: time to rescue "the
literature". Lancet 2000;355:489­91.

[3] Watine J, Borgstein J. Evidence-based illiteracy or illiterate
evidence. Lancet 2000;356:684.

Competing interests: No competing interests

15 January 2001
Joseph Watine
Hôpital de Rodez, France