Research Article: Comparative Effectiveness Research: Challenges for Medical Journals

Date Published: April 27, 2010

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Harold C. Sox, Mark Helfand, Jeremy Grimshaw, Kay Dickersin, David Tovey, J. André Knottnerus, Peter Tugwell

Abstract: None

Partial Text: In order to optimize health outcomes within the constraints of inevitably limited resources, low- and high-income countries alike require unbiased means of assessing health care interventions for their relative effectiveness. Such interventions include diagnostic tests and treatments (both established and newly developed) and implementation of health policy [1]. Likewise, health care professionals and patients need better information to inform health care decisions that require weighing benefits and risks in light of the patient’s medical history and personal preferences.

Medical journals are the primary evaluators and disseminators of peer-reviewed health research. As such, they must ready themselves to play a crucial role in advocating for CER, advancing CER methods and facilitating the translation of CER results into practice. Most importantly, journals and peer reviewers must do their part to ensure that CER, like all research with relevance to health, meets the highest scientific and ethical standards. They must therefore develop the methodological and statistical expertise to properly evaluate new or unfamiliar methods of health care research.



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