Futurity

Book: Status quo trumps evidence in U.S. health care

A new book identifies forces that undermine evidence-based medicine in the US.

A new book argues that political incentives, doctors, and partisanship undermine evidence-based medicine in the United States.

In 2002, Eric Patashnik of Brown University came across a puzzling study in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that a widely used surgical procedure for osteoarthritis of the knee worked no better than a sham procedure in which a surgeon merely pretended to operate.

Assuming that common medical treatments must rest on evidence of their effectiveness, Patashnik and colleagues Alan S. Gerber of Yale University and Conor M. Dowling of the University of Mississippi began to investigate why the procedure had become popular and how doctors responded to the landmark study. Over time, the researchers found that the knee surgery case is illustrative of broader problems in the US health care system and that treatments contradicted by evidence can remain the standard of care for decades.

In their new book Unhealthy Politics: The Battle over Evidence-Based Medicine (Princeton University Press, 2018), Patashnik and his coauthors look at how partisanship, political polarization, and medical authority stymie efforts to promote better, more efficient health care for Americans. The book draws on public opinion surveys, physician surveys, case studies, and political science models.

Here, Patashnik—a professor of public policy and political science who oversees Brown’s master of public affairs program—shares thoughts on evidence-based medicine and what roles doctors, politicians, and patients can and do play in this debate.

The post Book: Status quo trumps evidence in U.S. health care appeared first on Futurity.

Altro da Futurity

Futurity3 min lettiBiology
Hot Springs Microbes ‘Recycle’ Dead Plants And Don’t Release Methane
Researchers have identified an entirely new group of microbes quietly living in hot springs, geothermal systems, and hydrothermal sediments around the world They appear to play an important role in the global carbon cycle by helping to break down dec
Futurity3 min lettiPsychology
App Can Detect Autism Sign In Toddlers
A new app successfully detects one of the telltale characteristics of autism in toddlers. The technology could one day become an inexpensive and scalable early screening tool, the research suggests. Researchers created the app to assess the eye gaze
Futurity3 min lettiBiology
520-day Simulated Mars Mission Changes Crew’s Gut Bacteria
Crew members who took part in the Mars500 mission experiment showed significant changes in their gut microbiota after 520 days in confinement, according to a new study. The researchers analyzed data from fecal samples of six crew members from Russia,