- Evidence-based medicine July 14
Last week, Aaron Carroll did a video on the "number needed to treat," a measurement of how many people need to receive a particular therapy in order for one of them to actually receive the benefit. Turns out that number is much higher than one might expect — meaning many treatments are less effective than is popularly supposed.
Now Dr. Carroll looks at the other side of the coin, the "number needed to harm," or NNH. This is a measurement of how many people need to receive a particular therapy in order for one of them to suffer one of the negative side effects. It turns out for many treatments, this number is much lower than you might expect. Ouch.
The good news is that these two numbers make it a lot easier to understand that in many cases, simple bed rest and a painkiller are the most sensible option. --Ryan Cooper
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- How to survive a spaceship disaster
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