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DUETs: Questioning unsubstantiated therapies

In Web 2.0 & all that on November 18, 2008 by Danielle Tagged: , , , , ,

Yesterday, I attended a National Library for Health/ National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (NLH/ NICE) information day.  The last presentation of the day was about a database called DUETs (Database of uncertainties about the effects of treatments) supported by the James Lind Alliance.  Mark Fenton, the DUETs editor, remarked on the gulf between areas of research that are heavily funded (i.e. 82% of research is done on drugs) and areas of interest and need that are passed over.  DUETs does not claim to prioritise research about uncertain therapies, but it can be useful as a political tool to suggest what needs coverage.  Basically, everything that is not in a systematic review that finds it effective, becomes a DUET.  Contributors from the UK are welcome to submit treatments that are uncertain to DUETs.  Categories for submissions are: From Patients, From Carers, From Professionals, Research Recommendations, and Ongoing Research.  Currently the database is being migrated to the NLH.

Do you remember the four categories of information?  The most intimidating one, I thought, was ‘what you don’t know you don’t know‘–turning this into ‘what you know you don’t know‘ will be a massive project indeed.  I look forward to hearing more about their content development strategy (how they plan to entice people to contribute), how they control for quality, and how they keep content current.  Will there be a celebration every time something becomes certain or at least less uncertain?

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