Chapter without number Very short and very important

Getting information in our online time is not a problem. Information around a lot and access to it is through a search engine.

The problem is how to distinguish between true and false information.

In particular, how to distinguish information about the effectiveness of certain treatments or drugs.

Here’s a simple algorithm.

The first is to estimate the number of sources. The more sources, the more reliable the information. Sources do not mean the number of articles on the Web, but the number of scientific institutions or scientists on whose behalf this information is published. If, figuratively speaking, all “rivers flow from one spring”, that is – the information comes from one person or one office, it can be immediately considered unreliable.

The second is to assess the quality of sources. Do not be introduced to the big names like “world scientific and academic center for the fight against obesity and hypertension.” Look at the root-how long has there been an institution? Under whose “wing” does it work? Does he have any achievements, that is, discoveries and research? What is his reputation in academia? Of Course, belonging to the system of the Russian Academy of Sciences is a plus. And “restlessness”, that is, full independence of the scientific institution, and even in combination with a single direction of research work, is a fat minus. All nuances in one brief Chapter not reflect, but the crux of the you must be is clear.

The third is to assess the quality of information obtained from” quality ” sources. Scientists are also people and nothing human is alien to them. Including greed. Do not rush to throw stones at them, for it is not a matter of stones, but how to distinguish false prophets from true ones. What someone does for a living for you and me, it does not matter, it is important whether you can believe this particular information or not.

Randomized trials conducted by a double-blind placebo – controlled method, in which neither the doctor nor the patient knows which drug is given to each particular participant-the real test or a placebo dummy, are uniquely credible. The dummy is given in order to assess the reliability of the study. Well, the best, that is, the most credible, is a triple – blind randomized trial in which the distribution of the drug and pacifiers is not known by the patient, the doctor, or the statistician processing the results of the study.

The study must necessarily be randomized, that is, its participants must be randomly divided into groups receiving the drug and placebo. Random! To avoid the temptation to rig the result. For example-in the group receiving the drug, include people with an early stage and not complicated course of the disease, and in the group “placebo” – long and seriously ill. Think about what will happen in this scenario.

The number of participants in the study also matters. Twenty is, as they say, “nothing.” Fifty-barely. STO – Oh, wherever I go. More than three hundred can already be considered “presentable”. The same data obtained in credible studies conducted in different scientific institutions-very good.

Fourth-do not trust those studies in which the developers of the method or drug themselves investigate its effectiveness.

Fifth-do not trust those studies in which the drug appears under one of its commercial names. It’s just advertising, just advertising, and only advertising, but with a scientific emphasis. More pseudoscientific. He who pays the Piper calls the tune, who is funding the study, he always gets the desired result. In independent studies, the drugs are always under commercial, as under international non-proprietary names or under chemical nomenclature.

That is all.

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