Assessing authority

  • Rennie D
  • Chalmers I
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At the beginning of the 1990s, Antman and a team led by Tom Chalmers and Fred Mosteller used retrospective cumulative meta-analysis to show that the treatment recommendations of authorities in review articles and textbook chapters published over the previous 30 years had not reflected the best contemporary research evidence. These gaps between evidence and advice, which had sometimes lasted more than a decade, meant that both effective and dangerous treatments had been overlooked. The article by Antman et al published in JAMA in 1992 provided powerful evidence that traditional, unsystematic, narrative reviews did not serve patients well, and that better systems for gathering, analyzing, and disseminating clinical information were urgently required.

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  • Drummond Rennie

  • Iain Chalmers

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