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Subscribing to Bandolier

Subscribing to Bandolier
Most of us use computers these days, and most of those computers have software to allow us to fiddle with words or numbers. Bandolier learns how to use software by the old-fashioned technique of trying it, getting advice from our friends, and, when that doesn't work, shouting a lot. Occasionally we'll open a book that tells us how we should be doing it. In a last desperate attempt to use one programme (Photoshop) we turned to a most useful book (Photoshop 6 for Dummies by Deke McCelland) because it claimed that, though Photoshop was difficult, just holding the book up to the screen made it 50% easier.

That's exactly the relationship we would like for Bandolier and the use of evidence. In this issue several stories try to help in this regard. For instance, a meta-analysis of the use of probiotics for antibiotic-associated diarrhoea gives us almost useless statistical outputs. We show how a bit of surfing can lead us to a more useful result.

Then there's a reminder from hyperbaric oxygen for multiple sclerosis that randomised trials give different (negative) results from case series (positive). And, using the example of stress reduction interventions for blood pressure reduction, a reminder that smaller, shorter trials can claim a treatment works when larger, longer trials tell us that it does not.

It's not rocket science, but re-learning the lessons stops us being tripped up when the next fantastic claims are made based on inadequate evidence.

Subscribing to Bandolier

A big thank you to all our readers who have taken out subscriptions over the past few months. There are sufficient to keep Bandolier on your desk every month. Readers who would like their own copy have several ways of subscribing. You can:

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