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Brief Communication: Better Ways To Question Patients about Adverse Medical Events: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Stephen Bent, MD; Amy Padula, MS; and Andrew L. Avins, MD, MPH
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From University of California and San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center, San Francisco, California.


Acknowledgments: The authors thank Drs. Suzanne Staccone and Evelyn Badua, Ms. Bertina Lee, and Ms. Arleen Sakamoto for their work and for establishing the patient rapport that made this study possible.

Grant Support: By the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (grant 1 K08 ATO1338-01) and by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (grant 1 RO1 DK56199-01).

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Stephen Bent, MD, San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center, 111-A1, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121; e-mail, bent@itsa.ucsf.edu.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Bent and Avins and Ms. Padula: San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center, 111-A1, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: S. Bent, A.L. Avins.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: S. Bent, A. Padula, A.L. Avins.

Drafting of the article: S. Bent.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: S. Bent, A. Padula, A.L. Avins.

Final approval of the article: S. Bent, A.L. Avins.

Statistical expertise: S. Bent.

Administrative, technical, or logistic support: A. Padula.

Collection and assembly of data: A. Padula.


Ann Intern Med. 2006;144(4):257-261. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-144-4-200602210-00007
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We randomly assigned 214 patients to 1 of 3 methods of collecting data on adverse effects. Patients were predominantly healthy, well-educated white men (mean age, 63 years) who were taking a mean of 2.5 medications (Table 1). Baseline characteristics of the patients were similar among the 3 groups. All patients completed the study and the outcome assessment (Figure).

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Figure.
Flow diagram showing the distribution of participants at each stage of the study.

STEP = Saw Palmetto Treatment for Enlarged Prostates.

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