This month I attended the attended my first Evidence-Based Medicine conference at Oxford Universities Said Business School. Wow, this was so different from one of the usual dental congresses I attend around Europe, for a start instead of the 10,000 delegates there were only 300. This 300 hundred was made up of senior academic staff, researchers, clinicians and patient representatives. The other big difference was the lack of trade stands, corporate sponsorship and paper (App based programme).
Subjects covered over the three days included:
- Increasing the systematic use of existing evidence
- Reducing questionable research practices and bias
- Finding better evidence (TRIP database)
- Healthcare Value with Sir Muir Gray
- Enhancing real world practice
- Making research evidence relevant, replicable and accessible to the public
- The complete guide to BREAST CANCER – a personal view of cancer when the doctor becomes the patient.
- Conflicts of interests and the spinning of weak research results
- Reproducible evidence for Healthcare: Current and Future – Prof Ioannidis
The takehome message from this excellent conference was that we still have a long way to go with delivering that best healthcare for our patients. This challenge requires a general improvement in healthcare literacy and a basic knowledge of statistics for both the profession and the public.
We dont need more research quantity but we do need considerably more reproducible protocol driven quality. Unregistered/unreported trial findings can’t be analysed thus potentialy hiding benefits and harms to the population.