3-1 Do the outcomes measured matter to you?

A fair comparison may not include all outcomes that are relevant to treatments. Patients, professionals and researchers may have different views about which outcomes are important. For example, studies often measure outcomes, such as heart rhythm irregularities, as surrogates for important outcomes, like death after heart attack. However, the effects of treatments on surrogate outcomes often do not provide a reliable indication of the effects on outcomes that are important.

Always consider the possibility that outcomes that are important to you may not have been addressed in fair comparisons. Do not be misled by surrogate outcomes.

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Commercial companies are not alone in trumpeting the advantages of new treatments while down-playing drawbacks. Professional hype and enthusiastic media […]

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