Sunday, January 14, 2007

The James Lind Alliance - tackling treatment uncertainties together.

The James Lind Alliance - tackling treatment uncertainties together.: "Research on the effects of treatments often overlooks the shared interests of patients and clinicians. As a result, questions they both consider important are not addressed. For example when patients, rheumatologists, physiotherapists and general practitioners were asked to identify their priorities for research on the management of osteoarthritis of the knee, there was little enthusiasm for the studies of drugs that the pharmaceutical industry typically supports. Instead, patients and clinicians wanted more rigorous evaluation of the effects of physiotherapy and surgery, and better assessment of the educational and coping strategies that might help patients to manage this chronic, disabling and often painful condition.

The pharmaceutical and medical technology industries and academia play an essential role in developing new treatments. However, the priorities of industry and academics are not necessarily the same as those of patients and clinicians. For this reason many areas of potentially valuable research are neglected.

Furthermore, it should not be assumed that patients and clinicians will always have the same research priorities, unless a process to assess these priorities – like that used for osteoarthritis - has shown that they do. The James Lind Alliance has been established to encourage and facilitate such a process."

This is such a great idea - give patients what they want and what they need !

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