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Bandolier's Little Book of Making Sense of the Medical Evidence

Bandolier is delighted to announce that its little book of making sense of the medical evidence has been published by Oxford University Press. It provides practical guidelines on how to make sense of and interpret available evidence, with information on how to avoid straying beyond evidence into conjecture, supposition, and wishful thinking. It covers size, trial design, harm as well as benefit, from randomised trials and observational studies, and includes as well information about diagnostic testing, health economics, and management evidence.

The book's origins lie in lectures for medical students, healthcare professionals, and journalists. It was not written as a comprehensive manual for those who want to do a systematic review or meta-analysis, nor as a statistical or methodological textbook. Rather, summarises tools Bandolier uses to assess evidence, to be able to distinguish good evidence from bad. It will (hopefully) be an invaluable resource for university course and GP tutors, family doctors, hospital consultants involved in research, pharmacists, and anyone interested in evidence-based health care.

Why did we write it? Reasons stem from writing 150 issues of Bandolier, trying to get our brains around why things seem so complicated, and then trying to explain it simply to others. We have been helped by being intimately involved in over 100 systematic reviews in different areas, and trying to get to grips with some of the methodological complexities that can help, and sometimes hinder.

Much wool is being be pulled over many eyes, and from many different directions. Our working theme was one of bullshit detection. If it helps some of you become bullshit detectors, then we will be happy with that result. Buy it if you like, but it won't make Bandolier rich.

Available from Oxford University Press

Flexicovers / 0-19-856604-2 / 978-0-19-856604-5 / £24.95

2006 / 440 pp / 164 illustrations

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