PMID: 39823Jan 1, 1978

Interpretation of data by the clinician

International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics : the Official Organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics
J W Goldzieher

Abstract

The cardinal challenges to every practicing physician are to interpret clinical data correctly and to place them in proper perspective. Clinical investigations frequently lack the rigidly controlled conditions and the careful experimental designs usually found in preclinical animal studies, and this deficiency is partially attributable to the inherent complexities of clinical medicine. Consequently, a great deal of controversy results from conflicting interpretations, extrapolations and overextension of limited data that are often equivocal. More careful appraisal of data and increased awareness of the well-known pitfalls found in retrospective and prospective studies, in which biostatistical design and clinical relevance are often incompatible, are emphasized, and personal biases and the flagrant sensationalism expounded by the media are condemned. The clinician is cautioned to sift through the data, consider the benefit/risk ratio for each patient and then to subordinate the role of critical scientist and assume the role of physician, exercising good judgment in light of the existing evidence and the immediate problems at hand.

References

May 1, 1978·Obstetrics and Gynecology·R W BarnesJ C Hoak
Sep 7, 1978·The New England Journal of Medicine·K J Rothman, C Louik
Aug 21, 1976·British Medical Journal·J I MannM Thorogood
Oct 1, 1976·American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology·A K Jain
Dec 15, 1975·American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology·J W Goldzieher, T S Dozier
May 3, 1975·British Medical Journal·J I Mann, W H Inman
Apr 28, 1973·Lancet·J J Nora, A H Nora
Oct 3, 1974·The New England Journal of Medicine·D T JanerichD M Glebatis
Nov 1, 1969·American Journal of Epidemiology·P E SartwellH E Smith

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