Medical Studies Showing Largest Benefits Often Prove to be False

Posted on October 25, 2012  Comments (6)

There is another study showing the results of health studies often are proven false. Medical studies with striking results often prove false

If a medical study seems too good to be true, it probably is, according to a new analysis.

In a statistical analysis of nearly 230,000 trials compiled from a variety of disciplines, study results that claimed a “very large effect” rarely held up when other research teams tried to replicate them.

The report should remind patients, physicians and policymakers not to give too much credence to small, early studies that show huge treatment effects, Ioannidis said.

The Stanford professor chose to publish this paper in a closed science publication. But previously he published openly on: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.

Related: Majority of Clinical Trials Don’t Provide Meaningful EvidenceStatistical Errors in Medical StudiesMistakes in Experimental Design and InterpretationHow to Deal with False Research Findings

6 Responses to “Medical Studies Showing Largest Benefits Often Prove to be False”

  1. Jannet
    October 26th, 2012 @ 2:18 am

    We all have witnessed this in our personal lives. We buy medication based on medical studies which show that certain medicines prove to be the most effective whereas we don’t find any such results after trying the medicines. I believe this is a case of misselling, often customers are given wrong information to increase the sales of certain product.

  2. Jeff Loughlin
    October 26th, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

    I think the issue of researcher bias, which the linked article mentions, is particularly prevalent in medical research because of the financial incentives involved (compared with other types of research, I mean). By picking your samples carefully, and analyzing your results with a biased eye, you can prove whatever conclusion the drug company sponsoring the study wants you to prove…

  3. Henry
    October 29th, 2012 @ 5:15 am

    I really feel bad about such practices. Medical profession is something we all depend upon, and in such a situation if people continue to see us as money bags then I think nothing is going to improve. I agree to Jeff, researching on a chosen unit and getting desired result will not help people by and large.

  4. Smoking Bans at Work and Public Places Result in Significant Drops in Hospitalization for Heart Attacks, Strokes and Asthma. » Curious Cat Science Blog
    November 12th, 2012 @ 3:51 am

    comprehensive smoke-free laws were followed rapidly by significantly lower rates of hospital admissions than before the laws went into force:
    A 15% drop in heart attack hospitalizations;
    A 16% drop in stroke hospitalizations;
    A 24% drop in hospitalizations for respiratory diseases including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

  5. Joaquin Mayoral
    November 24th, 2012 @ 7:28 am

    Pharmaceutical firms exist to sell drugs. The best do everything they can within the law to make that happen. Not mentioned here is the fact that every drug has a number of side effects. In addition, every person’s body reacts differently to a drug. At this time the vast majority of drugs are given to you as an experiment by the doctor to see if it will help you because they don’t know if you are that 1 in a 100,000 that will react with a bad side effect. That’s why they call it a medical practice.

    The good news is that genomic research will eventually allow doctor’s to make better decisions about drugs.

  6. Matt Smith
    February 3rd, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

    One of the biggest things to look at when comparing studies is to see who is funding them. Typically if you can find the money trail and who has an overall interest in the study, and verify that the results of the study match up with the goals or beliefs of the group the funds come from, then the results are a sham…

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