Institute:Office of National Coordinator (ONC) Workforce Training Curriculum
Component:The Culture of Health Care
Lecture:Phrasing the clinical question
Slide content:Questions to Ask about a Study on Intervention Continued 2 What are the results? How large was the treatment effect? What was the relative risk reduction? What was the absolute risk reduction? How precise was the estimate of treatment effect? Were the confidence intervals or p-values stated? Can the results be applied to patient care? Were the study participants similar to my patient? Were all clinically important outcomes considered? Are the likely treatment benefits worth the potential harm and costs? 11
Slide notes:11 Once we are confident that the study is valid, we can look at the results. There are two major issues to consider. First, how large was the treatment effect, or how beneficial was it (if indeed it was beneficial)? Next, how precise was the estimate of treatment effect? With the treatment effect, we ask about both the relative risk reduction and the absolute risk reduction. For the precision of the treatment effect, we basically need to know whether it is statistically significant, so we need to know the confidence in our roles, or the p values for the experiments. Once we know the treatment effect, we can ask whether the results can be applied to patient care. Were the study participants similar to my patient? If they werent, then there may be some issues about the generalizability of the results. Were all the clinically important outcomes considered? Even though there is always a primary outcome in a study, did the researchers look at other outcomes as well so that we can assess the larger perspective of the intervention benefit? And then, are the likely treatment benefits worth the potential harm and costs? Well see that RCTs do not always do a good job of accounting for adverse effects, but we must analyze the reports of adverse effects so that we can balance the benefits and harms.