Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why Animal Research Needs To Improve

The most reliable animal studies are those that: use randomization to eliminate systematic differences between treatment groups; induce the condition under investigation without knowledge of whether or not the animal will get the drug of interest; and assess the outcome in a blinded fashion. Studies that do not report these measures are much more likely to overstate the efficacy of interventions. Unfortunately, at best one in three publications follows these basic protections against bias...Fewer still define beforehand the most important ('primary') outcome. As a result, they tend to report only the outcomes that happen to show statistical significance, reducing a rigorous, hypothesis-testing experiment to something more like observational research. more

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