Changes Needed to Ensure Access to Full Results of Medical Studies: Researchers

By Ubelacker, Sheryl | The Canadian Press, January 8, 2014 | Go to article overview

Changes Needed to Ensure Access to Full Results of Medical Studies: Researchers


Ubelacker, Sheryl, The Canadian Press


Research needs to be fully accessible: MDs

--

TORONTO - About $240 billion is spent globally on medical studies each year, but only about half of the results end up being made public for use by other researchers and doctors treating patients.

That lack of accessibility not only wastes precious research dollars, but is also potentially harmful to patient care, argues a group of researchers, who are calling for changes to ensure study results are fully reported in medical journals.

"Overall, half of health research, nothing from it is made public, not even the basic results or the basic journal paper," said Dr. An-Wen Chan, a scientist at the Women's College Research Institute in Toronto.

And when research is published, a study's goals, methods and findings are usually summarized, resulting in significantly incomplete information, said Chan, lead author of one in a series of articles on research waste published in this week's Lancet.

"There are hundreds to thousands of pages of research information that describe how the study was done, as well as reporting all the analyses. And that is compressed into a journal paper that's less than 10 pages," he said.

"So clearly there's some loss of information. And when you select what information to report, as with any journal, the most interesting information is selectively reported."

Chan said the strongest predictor of a medical study being submitted for publication is finding positive results for a drug, medical device or other intervention being tested.

When results of research are negative -- in other words, the drug or device didn't prove to be beneficial -- researchers often don't bother to submit their study to a journal, he said.

But negative results are highly valuable in themselves, Chan stressed.

"To know that something doesn't work and we should not be treating our patients with a particular intervention is important to know. It wastes money, it wastes time and they're potentially harmful if they don't work."

Chan and his co-authors from the U.S., Europe and Australia cite several examples of incomplete study information leading to wasted health-care spending or harm to patients.

For instance, governments worldwide spent billions of dollars on Tamiflu (oseltamivir) to treat influenza, especially during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

But the decision to stockpile the drug was based on inadequate information, including clinical trials in which almost two-thirds of patient data were not reported. As it turned out, Tamiflu did not necessarily reduce hospital admissions or complications from flu and its harmful side-effects were unclear. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Changes Needed to Ensure Access to Full Results of Medical Studies: Researchers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.