Understanding Evidence

iHealthFacts website: fact-check things you read and hear about health

In this blog, Dr Paula Byrne, post-doctoral researcher with the University of Galway, explains the difficulty – and importance of – knowing whether health information is true, and explains how iHealthfacts – a website where the public can fact-check things they read and hear about health – aims to help.

Personal experiences or anecdotes (stories) are an unreliable basis for assessing the effects of most treatments

This blog explains why personal experience, or a series of personal experiences, can be misleading. Just because an individual got better after using a treatment does not mean that other people who receive the same treatment will also improve, or that the treatment is responsible – ‘regression to the mean’ tells us that experiences such as pain may improve anyway without treatment.

Choosing health care wisely when resources are scarce

This blog describes the first in a new series of Cochrane Special Collections which brings together examples of treatments and health care which - despite being costly and time-consuming - research suggests could be unhelpful to patients, or even harmful.

Treatments can harm

This blog explores a number of cautionary examples, reminding that all treatments have potential harms. We should consider the evidence not just about whether a treatment works, but whether it is safe. This is the third blog of our special series on Evidently Cochrane: “Oh, really?” 12 things to help you question health advice.