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ARTICLE |

Interpreting Medical Data

CHARLES M. GRUBER Jr., M.D., D.Sc.
AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(6):767-773. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250300085010.
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Both acceptance and interest in formal (planned) clinical research has grown rapidly in recent years. In consequence, the number of scientific publications has increased until it is practically impossible to keep abreast of medical literature in even a single field. The physician, therefore, reads selectively of necessity. Very often it is difficult to decide which articles to study and which ones to disregard. This presentation is intended to lend assistance in making such decisions.

From current medical journals, Ross1 analyzed 100 consecutive articles, dealing with a procedure or a type of therapy, to determine the basis upon which conclusions had been drawn. In 45% of these articles the investigators made no attempt to compare the results of the specific therapy described to those in an untreated control group, and in another 18% the control used was considered inadequate. Through this study, Ross has demonstrated the lack of a scientific

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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