Thierry Poynard, MD, PhD; Mona Munteanu, MD; Vlad Ratziu, MD; Yves Benhamou, MD, PhD; Vincent Di Martino, MD; Julien Taieb, MD; Pierre Opolon, MD
Factors associated with the survival of truth of clinical conclusions in the medical literature are unknown. The authors hypothesized that conclusions derived from studies using better methodology should have a longer half-life.
MEDLINE and hand searches of journals with studies on cirrhosis and hepatitis.
Original articles and meta-analyses published from 1945 to 1999 about cirrhosis or hepatitis in adults.
In 2000, 285 of 474 conclusions (60%) were still considered to be true, 91 (19%) were considered to be obsolete, and 98 (21%) were considered to be false. The half-life of truth was 45 years. The 20-year survival of conclusions derived from meta-analysis was lower (57% Â± 10%) than that from nonrandomized studies (87% Â± 2%) (P < 0.001) or randomized trials (85% Â± 3%) (P < 0.001). The survival of conclusions was not different when studies of high methodologic quality were compared with those of low quality. In randomized trials, the 50-year survival rate was higher for 52 negative conclusions (68% Â± 13%) than for 118 positive conclusions (14% Â± 4%) (P < 0.001).
Contrary to the authors' hypothesis, conclusions based on recognized, good methodology had no clear survival advantage. To better convince clinicians of the long-term utility of evidence-based medicine, better prognostic factors should be developed.
Learn more about subscription options.
Register Now for a free account.
Poynard T, Munteanu M, Ratziu V, Benhamou Y, Martino VD, Taieb J, et al. Truth Survival in Clinical Research: An Evidence-Based Requiem?. Ann Intern Med. 2002;136:888-895. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-136-12-200206180-00010
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2002;136(12):888-895.
Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Liver Disease, Prevention/Screening.
Results provided by:
Copyright © 2017 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only