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Disturbing Evidence

Date and Location




Monday 23 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Ann Fonfa

Contact person

Ann Fonfa
Abstract text
Background: As a Patient Advocate who practices no type of medicine, conducts no direct research, and is a full-time volunteer, I find myself more and more concerned with the quality of evidence. Objectives: As a Cochrane Consumer, I get the chance to evaluate evidence. As a member of the Adverse Effects Methods Group, I am very aware of the failure to collect evidence/information. Testifying at Food & Drug Administration – FDA (USA) meetings, I see how evidence can be manipulated. As a reader of many journals, newsletters and magazines, I follow what happens when ‘evidence-based’ studies bring drugs or devices into the community settings and fail to replicate. Methods: At the two prior colloquiums I have attended, I was struck by posters showing how badly evidence is collected and reported. These are some poster titles that caught my attention at Madrid Colloquium (the last one attended): P1A15 The sensitivity and precision of adverse effects search filters in MEDLINE, EMBASE and Science Citation Index P1416 The usefulness of different information sources for retrieving adverse effects data for a systematic A603 An investigation into the assessment and reporting of harms in clinical studies A604 What is a rapid review? B203 Primary outcomes reported in abstracts and – do they agree? C304 Do Cochrane systematic reviews report patient-important outcomes? P1S34 Where and how to find data on safety: What do systematic reviews of complementary therapies tell us? P1A48 Geographical and language distribution of trials in Cochrane Systematic Reviews related to acupuncture P2A190 Systematic reviews of adverse events. Is screening by title and abstract enough? Results: Clearly use of this evidence must be examined. Let's do it. Conclusions: Cochrane Consumers and researchers must discuss this at Colloquium to impact change.