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Why clinical trial outcomes fail to translate into benefits for patients

Overview of attention for article published in Trials, March 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#3 of 5,175)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)

Mentioned by

2 news outlets
8 blogs
1 policy source
733 tweeters
4 Facebook pages
1 Wikipedia page
5 Google+ users
1 Redditor

Readers on

296 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
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Why clinical trial outcomes fail to translate into benefits for patients
Published in
Trials, March 2017
DOI 10.1186/s13063-017-1870-2
Pubmed ID

Carl Heneghan, Ben Goldacre, Kamal R. Mahtani


Clinical research should ultimately improve patient care. For this to be possible, trials must evaluate outcomes that genuinely reflect real-world settings and concerns. However, many trials continue to measure and report outcomes that fall short of this clear requirement. We highlight problems with trial outcomes that make evidence difficult or impossible to interpret and that undermine the translation of research into practice and policy. These complex issues include the use of surrogate, composite and subjective endpoints; a failure to take account of patients' perspectives when designing research outcomes; publication and other outcome reporting biases, including the under-reporting of adverse events; the reporting of relative measures at the expense of more informative absolute outcomes; misleading reporting; multiplicity of outcomes; and a lack of core outcome sets. Trial outcomes can be developed with patients in mind, however, and can be reported completely, transparently and competently. Clinicians, patients, researchers and those who pay for health services are entitled to demand reliable evidence demonstrating whether interventions improve patient-relevant clinical outcomes.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 733 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 296 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 296 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 55 19%
Student > Master 47 16%
Student > Ph. D. Student 33 11%
Student > Bachelor 28 9%
Other 23 8%
Other 70 24%
Unknown 40 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 103 35%
Nursing and Health Professions 26 9%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 17 6%
Psychology 15 5%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 11 4%
Other 64 22%
Unknown 60 20%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 505. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 12 January 2022.
All research outputs
of 20,116,063 outputs
Outputs from Trials
of 5,175 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 274,503 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Trials
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 20,116,063 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 5,175 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 7.8. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 274,503 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them