Departments of Psychiatry; Medicine; Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health; and School of Nursing, McGill University and Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, 4333 Cote Ste-Catherine Road, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1E4, Canada.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research.
PLoS Medicine 09/2005; 2(8):e124. · 15.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression is common in primary care but is suboptimally managed. Collaborative care, that is, structured care involving a greater role of nonmedical specialists to augment primary care, has emerged as a potentially effective candidate intervention to improve quality of primary care and patient outcomes.
To quantify the short-term and longer-term effectiveness of collaborative care compared with standard care and to understand mechanisms of action by exploring between-study heterogeneity, we conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials that compared collaborative care with usual primary care in patients with depression. We searched MEDLINE (from the beginning of 1966), EMBASE (from the beginning of 1980), CINAHL (from the beginning of 1980), PsycINFO (from the beginning of 1980), the Cochrane Library (from the beginning of 1966), and DARE (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness) (from the beginning of 1985) databases from study inception to February 6, 2006.
We found 37 randomized studies including 12 355 patients with depression receiving primary care. Random effects meta-analysis showed that depression outcomes were improved at 6 months (standardized mean difference, 0.25; 95% confidence interval, 0.18-0.32), and evidence of longer-term benefit was found for up to 5 years (standardized mean difference, 0.15; 95% confidence interval, 0.001-0.31). When exploring determinants of effectiveness, effect size was directly related to medication compliance and to the professional background and method of supervision of case managers. The addition of brief psychotherapy did not substantially improve outcome, nor did increased numbers of sessions. Cumulative meta-analysis showed that sufficient evidence had emerged by 2000 to demonstrate the statistically significant benefit of collaborative care.
Collaborative care is more effective than standard care in improving depression outcomes in the short and longer terms. Future research needs to address the implementation of collaborative care, particularly in settings other than the United States.
Archives of Internal Medicine 12/2006; 166(21):2314-21. · 11.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: That it is not possible to find information about all initiated clinical trials is of international concern. This is a particular worry because scientists tend to publish their positive findings more often than their negative findings (publication bias). A comprehensive register of initiated clinical trials, with each trial assigned a unique identifier, would inform reviewers, physicians, and others (eg, consumers) about which trials had been started and directly address the problem of publication bias. Patients and their clinicians could also know which trials are open for enrollment, thus speeding medical advances. Individuals who participate in clinical trials typically provide consent in the belief that they are contributing to medical knowledge. But if the knowledge gained is never reported, the trust between patients and investigators and that between patients and research ethics review boards are both damaged. Ethical issues are of particular concern if industry is gaining financially from public involvement in trials, but refusing to reciprocate by making information from industry-sponsored trials generally available. All stakeholders-investigators, research organizations and institutions, journal editors, lawmakers, consumers, and others-must act now, together and in their own domains, to ensure comprehensive registration of clinical trials.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 08/2003; 290(4):516-23. · 29.98 Impact Factor
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