John Ioannidis: High-cited favorable studies for COVID-19 treatments ineffective in large trials
re: John Ioannidis
re: Sebastian Rushworth MD: How to understand scientific studies (in health and medicine)
re: Sebastian Rushworth MD: How Well do Doctors Understand Probability?
re: Ioannidis: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False
Professor of Medicine at Stanford, John Ioannidis is one of the best minds on the planet in epidemiology and best of all he is one of the few voices of scientific integrity willing to speak out.
Timely and apropos when anecdotes and guessing deliver better results than the crap scientists poop out.
High-cited favorable studies for COVID-19 treatments ineffective in large trials
2022-01-11, view full PDF.
Objective. To evaluate for COVID-19 treatments that showed no benefits in subsequent large RCTs how many of their most-cited clinical studies had declared favorable results for these interventions.
Findings. 40 articles of clinical studies on these index interventions had received >150 citations (7 exceeded 1,000 citations). 20/40 (50%) had favorable conclusions and 4 were equivocal. Highly-cited articles with favorable conclusions were rarely RCTs while those without favorable conclusions were mostly RCTs (3/20 vs 15/20, p=0.0003). Only 1 RCT with favorable conclusions had sample size >160. Citation counts correlated strongly with Altmetric scores, in particular news items. Only 9 (15%) of 60 recent citations to the most highly-cited studies with favorable or equivocal conclusions were critical to the highly-cited study.
Conclusion. Many clinical studies with favorable conclusions for largely ineffective COVID-19 treatments are uncritically heavily cited and disseminated. Early observational studies and small randomized trials may cause spurious claims of effectiveness that get perpetuated.
WIND: learn more about how science really works from Scott Adams.