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10 years and counting

Plus ça change
How to do it
The next 10 years

10 years and counting

The first issue of Bandolier was in February 1994, so our first 10 years is just about up, depending on how fastidious one is about dates. The early issues had much to do with finding some evidence-based feet, because smart folks had yet to establish the evidence about evidence. We had less than perfect knowledge about how we could be led astray by poor trial design and poor systematic review processes, and nothing much about things like diagnostic testing.

Now it is much better. There's lots of good information that should prevent us from being led astray. In essence it always comes down to the three criteria of quality (avoiding bias), validity (doing studies right, always highly situation dependent), and size (so that we are not carried away by random chance). And we have much more good evidence in many more areas.

Plus ça change

Some things remain the same though. Bandolier found out early about the interest in things prostatic. Bandolier 2 looked at uses for PSA tests, and Bandolier 11 at diagnosis and treatment of BPH. Yet here we are again visiting the same topic. The reason is we now have new and important randomised trials that tell us not just about treatments working, and relative efficacy, but cast light on who to treat. Plus we can compare systematic reviews with new trial data. Given the three verities of quality, validity, and size, they give the same answer.

How to do it

The very first Bandolier looked at getting research into practice. This issue revisits the topic, with a landmark paper on improving surgical outcomes that borrows from a wealth of evidence. The prediction is that the next 10 years will be much more concerned with getting evidence into practice. In New Zealand primary care, they have established a sympathetic bottom up approach, rather appropriate for 'down-under'.

The next 10 years

Bandolier was originally scheduled for three issues, or perhaps a year. Given this track record, guessing about the next 10 years would be presumptuous. But with the journal, books, 300,000 Internet visitors a week, and a million PDF downloads a year, we'll have to think of something.

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