Hello, I’m Dr. Jeff Kingsley and this is another edition of Riding in Cars With Researchers. Today we’re going to talk largely to physicians and research investigators about details – details matter. It’s really about investigating the literature. You can read more about this research article that was published in the British Medical Journal at the end of this blog. The research study was titled Parachute Use to Prevent Death and Major Trauma When Jumping from Aircraft. And what the research studies showed was that, in fact, there is no statistical significance. Parachute use did not make any difference in preventing death or major trauma over not using a parachute at all when jumping from an airplane. That’s the title of the research study. And that’s the material that you’re given in the high-level abstract. And when you dig into the methods and results and conclusion and the other stuff that’s actually in a research report, you find that because of informed consent, everything has to be disclosed to participants upfront, of course. And so because of informed consent, they were unable to enroll patients to the no parachute use arm of the study.
And so they only enrolled patients to the parachute use arm of the study. And the airplane was actually on the ground when people jumped out of the airplane. So, of course, the parachute didn’t have any impact on morbidity or mortality, but you would never understand any of that from the title or from the abstract. Why do I find this fascinating? I’m telling you, you’ve got to look up the article and read it. It really is hilarious and it’s enlightening while being entertaining. The details matter. Don’t take headlines at face value.
Make Your Own Conclusions
Read into it for yourself. Look at the methods, look at the results. Make your own conclusions. Learn to understand when the authors suggested conclusion is or is not in agreement with your conclusion from a research trial. It’s fascinating and well worth reading. It should change how you practice as a physician. It should change how you read and interpret the medical literature. Many times we’re busy. We’re very, very busy and we read the titles and make conclusions. We read maybe the abstract and make conclusions. Great, great article to demonstrate to you the risk of doing. So anyway, seriously read it. It really is awesome.
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