A network for students interested in evidence-based health care

Students: help us review these resources!

Posted on 24th November 2016 by


With big thanks to one of our partners, Testing Treatments interactive, we’re adding lots more resources and tools to our library of resources on the Students 4 Best Evidence website. But we’d like to hear from you students about what you make of them and how useful you find them. Please get in touch if you’d like to write a short review about any of the resources below. You need not have ever blogged before and you can use the questions below as a guide.

Briefly, what is the resource / what is it about?

Who it is aimed at? (e.g. undergraduates)

Roughly how long did it take you to read/view/complete?

How did you find it? (e.g. was it clear or difficult to understand?)

Do you feel it improved your understanding?

What problems did you find with it (if any) / how do you think it could be improved?

Overall, what would you score the resource out of 5? (and why?)


1.    Testing Treatments (also available as an audiobook)

Testing Treatments is a book to help the public understand why fair tests of treatments are needed, what they are, and how to use them. Available for free online: http://www.testingtreatments.org/book/ and as an audiobook:  http://www.testingtreatments.org/book/#listen

2.    Video games and health improvement: a literature review of randomized controlled trials

This is a critical appraisal of a non-systematic review of randomized trials of video games for improving health.


3.    Fair tests of treatments: a quick guide for journalists

When deadlines are pressing, how can journalists tell whether to believe claims about the effects of a new treatment or breakthrough?


4.    Ben Goldacre on TED, on drug companies and hidden data.

Ben Goldacre’s lecture at TEDglobal, in which he describes how pharmaceutical companies harm patients by failing to report negative outcomes


5.    What does a positive genetic test mean? The example of coeliac disease

Video tutorial explores the ways in which evidence about the effectiveness of genetic testing can be misrepresented in advertising.


6.    DISCERN online

A questionnaire providing a valid and reliable way of assessing the quality of written information on treatment choices.


7.    Informed Health Choices Podcasts

Each episode includes a short story with an example of a treatment claim and a simple explanation of a Key Concept used to assess that claim


8.    Know Your Chances

This book has been shown in two randomized trials to improve peoples’ understanding of risk in the context of health care choices.


9. Annals Graphic Medicine: How screening is portrayed in the media

A cartoon series addressing the theme “Earlier is not necessarily better”.


10. Interactive PowerPoint Presentation about Clinical Trials

An interactive Powerpoint presentation for people thinking about participating in a clinical trial or interested in learning about them.


11. Smart Health Choices: making sense of health advice

The Smart Health Choices e-book explains how to make informed health decisions.


12. Evidence Based Medicine Matters: Examples of where EBM has benefitted patients

Booklet containing 15 examples submitted by Royal Colleges where Evidence-Based Medicine has benefited clinical practice.


13. Confidence Intervals – CASP

The p-value gives no direct indication of how large or important the estimated effect size is. So, confidence intervals are often preferred.


14. Clinical Significance – CASP

To understand results of a trial it is important to understand the question it was asking.


15. Statistical Significance – CASP

In a well-conducted randomized trial, the groups being compared should differ from each other only by chance and by the treatment received.


16. P Values – CASP

Statistical significance is usually assessed by appeal to a p-value, a probability, which can take any value between 0 and 1 (certain).


17. Making sense of results – CASP

This module introduces the key concepts required to make sense of statistical information presented in research papers.


18. Screening – CASP

This module on screening has been designed to help people evaluate screening programmes.


19. Systematic reviews – CASP

This unit looks at Critical Appraisal of systematic reviews.


20. Randomised control trials – CASP

This module looks at the critical appraisal of randomised trials.


21. CASP: making sense of evidence

The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) website with resources for teaching critical appraisal.


22. Common sources of bias

Bias (the conscious or unconscious influencing of a study and its results) can occur in different ways and renders studies less dependable.


23. Surrogate markers may not tell the whole story

A webpage explaining the limitations of using surrogate outcome markers in clinical research.


24. Mixed Messages about Statistical Significance

A webpage explaining the difference between statistical and practical significance.


25. Science fact or fiction? Making sense of cancer stories

A Cancer Research UK blog, explaining how to assess the quality of health claims about cancer.


26. Double blind studies

A webpage discussing the importance of blinding trial participants and researchers to intervention allocation.


27. CEBM – Study Designs

A short article explaining the relative strengths and weaknesses of different types of study design for assessing treatment effects.


28. DISCERN online

A questionnaire providing a valid and reliable way of assessing the quality of written information on treatment choices.


29. The 10 stuff-ups we all make when interpreting research

An article explaining 10 key errors we might make when interpreting research.


30. Observational Studies – does the language fit the evidence?

A webpage explaining observational studies and their advantage and disadvantages.


31. Relative or absolute measures of effects

Dr Chris Cates’ article explaining absolute and relative effects of treatment effects.


32. The perils and pitfalls of subgroup analysis

Dr Chris Cates’ article demonstrating why subgroup analysis can be untrustworthy.


33. Reporting results of studies

Dr Chris Cates’ article discussing how to report study results, with emphasis on P-values and confidence intervals.


34. Combining the Results from Clinical Trials

Chris Cates notes that emphasizing the results of patients in particular sub-groups in a trial can be misleading.


35. AllTrials: All Trials | All Results Reported

AllTrials aims to correct the situation in which studies remain unpublished or are published but with selective reporting of outcomes.


36. Association is not the same as causation. Let’s say that again: Association is not the same as causation.

This article explains how to tell when correlation or association has been confused with causation.


37. Shared decision-making

This resource from the Health Foundation shows how shared decision-making can be made to work in a typical consultation.


38. Tipsheet for reporting on drugs, devices and medical technologies

Questions that will be familiar to reporters covering health and medicine.


39. Tips for understanding Intention-to-Treat analysis

Ignoring non-compliance with assigned treatments leads to biased estimates of treatment effects. ITT analysis reduces these biases.


40. Tips for understanding Absolute vs. Relative Risk

Absolute Differences between the effects of two treatments matter more to most people than Relative Differences.


41. Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis: Information Overload

None of us can keep up with the sheer volume of material published in medical journals each week.


42. Tips for understanding Non-inferiority Trials

A non-inferiority experiment endeavours to show that a new intervention is ‘not unacceptably worse’ than the comparison intervention.


43. Cyagen is paying for citations

Pharmaceutical company Cyagen offers researchers and other writers $100 or more for citing their products in publications.


44. Misconceptions about screening

Screening should not be for everyone or all diseases. It should only be offered when it is likely to do good than harm.


45. Making sense of randomized trials

A description of how clinical trials are constructed and analysed to ensure they provide fair comparisons of treatments.


46. Communicating with patients on evidence

This discussion paper from the US Institute of Medicine provides guidance on communicating evidence to patients.


47. Shared Decision-Making

This resource from the Health Foundation shows how shared decision-making can be made to work in a typical consultation.


48. Critical Appraisal of Clinical Trials in Dermatology

A free online course created by University of Nottingham researchers and clinicians on critical appraisal of clinical trials in dermatology https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/toolkits/play_15277


Selena Ryan-Vig

Selena Ryan-Vig is a Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK. Her role involves sharing Cochrane evidence in accessible ways, managing Cochrane UK's website and social media accounts, and producing newsletters. With a colleague, Selena delivers interactive sessions to students from Years 10 to 13 to teach about evidence-based practice and to encourage critical thinking, particularly around healthcare claims made in the media. She also co-delivers talks for students to raise awareness of Cochrane and reliable, evidence-based resources. She has a psychology degree from the University of Bath. During her degree, she worked for a national charity which provides support for young women. View more posts from Selena

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