One of the most compelling questions a cardiologist (and, for that matter, any clinician) has to face involves choosing the optimal management strategy for their patients. One of the best sources of information about therapy is the randomized controlled trial, which, despite several significant shortcomings, is considered to be the gold standard in studies about therapeutics and prevention. The methodologic quality of therapeutic trials is highly variable and--as already discussed in previous articles--in order to be useful they have to be critically appraised in terms of the validity of their results, their importance, and their applicability to the individual patient. In a previous article published in the Journal, critical appraisal of evidence in therapy was presented, concerning the issue of validity. In this article, we will introduce a critical appraisal of the importance of the results obtained through randomized clinical trials, and in the final article we will discuss their applicability.
|Journal||Revista Portuguesa de Cardiologia|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2002|