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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Joan Stachnik, PharmD, BCPS (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy)
Description: This is a guide to evaluating published clinical trials.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide healthcare practitioners with objective measures by which to critically evaluate the medical literature. Considering the large number of trials published in medical journals, a way to critically evaluate these articles is needed.
Audience: According to the editor, the intended audience is any healthcare practitioner who reads the medical literature. However, the text would be especially useful in the classroom as an aid in teaching students about the medical literature.
Features: The editor uses a set of 23 questions relating to various parts of a published clinical trial (abstract, introduction, methods, results, etc) to illustrate what should and should not be in these sections. With each question, the he presents somewhat in-depth discussions on various aspects of study design relating to a particular section of a published article, such as randomization, types of trial design, blinding, data presentation and interpretation, and statistical tests. Many of the examples are from the medical literature. Each chapter is well-referenced. The editor is a recognized expert in the area of medical literature evaluation.
Assessment: In this book the healthcare practitioner will find a guide to critically evaluate the medical literature. The editor uses examples from the published literature to illustrate what one might find when reading an article, and also gives an overview of clinical trial design. Although this book would be valuable to any practitioner who reads the medical literature, it would be most useful in the classroom to teach students how to properly read and evaluate a published trial.