From The Boston Globe:
For the first time, physicians will be asked to weigh in on what they would do for a patient, based on research papers published in the current issue and what they read about a fictitious case. Their choices will be tallied online for four weeks and their comments posted in an experiment to better connect with readers, editor-in-chief Dr. Jeffrey M. Drazen (left) said in an interview.
First up in the Journal is the case of a 30-year-old woman with mild persistent asthma who wonders if she should change her medications. The vignette is followed by three choices and an essay to support each option. Readers can make their picks and explain why online.
Okay, that sounds like a good idea…subscribers feel engaged and let the NEJM (and their colleagues) know what they think. It results in a feature that is generated by user feedback. That’s fine, I guess- but is it really any different from when CNN or Fox News set a question and invite viewers to call in with their opinions?
This part in particular threw me:
“Evidence-based medicine is somewhat of an illusory thing,” he said. “Very few patients fit the inclusion criteria for a clinical trial. It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle when the pieces don’t quite fit.”
Poll results from clinicians may add another piece of information about how clinical decisions are made.
“We hope to learn from them as well as having them learn from us,” Drazen said.
Does this confuse anyone else? How would a non-scientific poll of self-selected participants aid EBP efforts?
It is entirely possible (read: likely) that I’m just missing something here, so please do feel free to leave a comment and school me.
[via Kevin, M.D.]