Bimal P. Jain, MD
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Jain BP. Number Needed To Treat and Relative Risk Reduction. Ann Intern Med. 1998;128:72. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-128-1-199801010-00019
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1998;128(1):72.
TO THE EDITOR:
If the purpose of systematic reviews is to encourage physicians to readily use new treatments in their own patients, I submit that the number needed to treat (NNT)  is not the correct method for reporting efficacy of treatments. From a clinical standpoint, NNT has the major shortcoming of representing efficacy only in the patients in whom the treatment is studied, because it depends on baseline risk. Therefore, it is not likely to represent efficacy in a physician's own patients, who will have different baseline risks. As a result, I do not think that physicians would readily use the treatment in their patients.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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