stiamo tranquilli…

Uno studio dimostra l’inutilità dei paracadute [EN]

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a cura di Perodatrent

BigThink commenta uno studio pubblicato sul numero natalizio del British Medical Journal, rivista seria che dedica il numero speciale ad articoli che affrontano in modo anticonvenzionale i problemi della medicina.

The study… involved 23 test subjects who were randomly sorted into two groups. One would leap out of an airplane with a parachute while the second would do the same with a regular old backpack. Their survival rates were then compared after they hit the ground.

The authors explained that “Our groundbreaking study found no statistically significant difference in the primary outcome between the treatment and control arms. Our findings should give momentary pause to experts who advocate for routine use of parachutes for jumps from aircraft in recreational or military settings.”

Per convincere i candidati a prendere parte allo studio i ricercatori hanno strutturato il trial in modo adeguato. Per motivi etici, l’aereo era al suolo in stato stazionario. Gli autori dello studio ammettono che questo era un “minor caveat” nel disegno dello studio.

They don’t admit this until the fourth or fifth paragraph into the paper, however, which leads to their larger point.  The authors explain that the whole study was designed to highlight the limitations of randomized trials and the dangers of not reading past the first paragraph of a study. They explain:

“The parachute trial satirically highlights some of the limitations of randomized controlled trials. Nevertheless, we believe that such trials remain the gold standard for the evaluation of most new treatments. The parachute trial does suggest, however, that their accurate interpretation requires more than a cursory reading of the abstract. Rather, interpretation requires a complete and critical appraisal of the study. In addition, our study highlights that studies evaluating devices that are already entrenched in clinical practice face the particularly difficult task of ensuring that patients with the greatest expected benefit from treatment are included during enrollment.”

Ammettetelo, anche voi avete letto un titolo prima di questo, e avete fatto finta di aver letto l’intero articolo quando se ne è venuti a parlare. Il punto colto dall’articolo in questione è dimostrare quanto sia fuorviante un titolo e quanto è importante il contesto per capire di cosa si tratta.

Immagine: Official United States Air Force Website

 


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