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New Year's Resolutions

The editorial board of Bandolier is from the Celtic fringe, and pays close attention to such pagan festivals as Halloween, Burn's Night, the Eisteddfod and welcoming in the new year.

One custom associated with the new year is making new year resolutions, and in this issue of Bandolier we suggest a set of resolutions for our readers. Be assured, however, that your ability to keep these resolutions will be determined principally by our skills as writers rather than your time or intelligence. From its very first days Bandolier had a number of objectives; these were to ensure that clinicians and decision makers without epidemiological training would understand and use epidemiological concepts and techniques - had access to the tools to make things easier or more effective.

For 1996

Our aim is to ensure that all decision makers - clinicians and managers - can:-
  • find the best available evidence on tests and treatments
  • know the criteria used to appraise trials and systematic reviews on tests and clinical and cost effectiveness
  • define absolute and relative risk and be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of different methods of expressing results
  • define, calculate and use NNT
  • list screening tests that do more good than harm
  • define odds ratios and know their value
  • define and interpret confidence intervals and power
  • distinguish sensitivity, specificity and predictive value of tests
If you can do all this, then you will be a black belt reader. To help you on your way below are some of the most important articles about how to use the medical literature from a series in JAMA - some as Internet versions.

User Guides to the Medical Literature from JAMA

  1. Guyatt G, Rennie D and the Evidence Based Medicine Working Group.Why Users' Guides? EBM Working Paper Series #1.Only available on the Internet as: http://hiru.mcmaster.ca/ebm/userguid/0_users.htm .
  2. Guyatt GH. Users' guides to the medical literature. JAMA 1993; 270 (17): 2096-2097.
  3. Oxman A, Sackett, DL & Guyatt GH. Users' guides to the medical literature. I. How to get started. JAMA 1993; 270 (17): 2093-2095. Also available on the Internet as: http://hiru.mcmaster.ca/ebm/userguid/1_intro.htm .
  4. Guyatt GH, Sackett DL and Cook DJ. Users' guides to the medical literature.II. How to use an article about therapy or prevention. A. Are the results of the study valid? JAMA 1993; 270 2598-2601.
  5. Guyatt GH, Sackett DL and Cook DJ. Users' guides to the medical literature. II. How to use an article about therapy or prevention. B. What were the results and will they help me in caring for my patients? JAMA 1994; 271:59-63.
  6. Jaeschke R, Guyatt G & Sackett DL. Users' guides to the medical literature. III. How to use an article about a diagnostic test. A. Are the results of the study valid? JAMA 1994 February 2; 271 (5): 389-391.
  7. Jaeschke R, Gordon H, Guyatt G & Sackett DL. Users' guides to the medical literature.III. How to use an article about a diagnostic test. B. what are the results and will they help me in caring for my patients? JAMA 1994; 271: 703-707.
  8. Levine M, Walter S, Lee H, Haines T, Holbrook A & Moyer V. Users'guides to the medical literature. IV. How to use an article about harm. JAMA 1994 May 25; 271 (20) 1615-1619.
  9. Laupacis A, Wells G, Richardson S & Tugwell P. Users' guides to the medical literature. V. How to use an article about prognosis. JAMA 1994; 272: 234-237.
  10. Oxman AD, Cook DJ, Guyatt GH. Users' guides to the medical literature. VI. How to use an overview. JAMA 1994; 272 (17): 1367-1371.
  11. Scott Richardson W, Detsky AS. Users' guides to the medical literature. VII. How to use a Clinical Decision Analysis. A. Are the results of the study valid? JAMA 1995; 273 (16): 1292-1295.
  12. Scott Richardson W, Detsky AS. Users' guides to the medical literature. VII. How to use a Clinical Decision Analysis. B. What are the results and will they help me in caring for my patients? JAMA 1995; 273 (20): 1610-1613.
  13. Hayward RSA, Wilson MC, Tunis SR, Bass EB, Guyatt G. Users' guides to the medical literature. VIII. How to use clinical practice guidelines. A. Are the recommendations valid? JAMA 1995; 274 (7): 570-574.
  14. Wilson MC, Hayward RSA, Tunis SR, Bass EB, Guyatt G. Users' guides to the medical literature. VIII. How to use clinical practice guidelines B. What are the results and will they help me in caring for my patients? JAMA 1995; 274: 1630-1632.
  15. Guyatt GH, Sackett DL, Sinclair JC, Hayward R, Cook DJ, Cook RJ. Users' Guides to the Medical Literature.IX. A Method for Grading Health Care Recommendations. JAMA 1995; 274 (22): 1800-1804.





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