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Does reductio ad absurdumhave a place in evidence-based medicine?

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medicine, June 2014
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Mentioned by

blogs
2 blogs
twitter
9 tweeters

Citations

dimensions_citation
3 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
14 Mendeley
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Title
Does reductio ad absurdumhave a place in evidence-based medicine?
Published in
BMC Medicine, June 2014
DOI 10.1186/1741-7015-12-106
Pubmed ID
Authors

Florian Naudet, Bruno Falissard

Abstract

In a meta-analysis published in BMC Medicine, we explored whether evidence-based medicine can actually be sure that 'sucrose = sucrose' in the treatment of depression. This paper, based upon a reductio ad absurdum, addressed an epistemological question using a 'scientific' approach, and could be disconcerting as suggested by Cipriani and Geddes' commentary. However, most papers are based upon a mixture of observations and discussions about sense and meaning. Ultimately, there is nothing more than a story, told with words or numbers. Randomised controlled trials provide information about average patients that do not exist. These results ignores an entire segment of therapeutics that plays a crucial role, namely care. This information is usually set out using a 'grammar' that is ambiguous, since statistical tests of hypothesis have raised epistemological questions that are not as yet solved. Moreover, many of these stories remain untold, and unpublished. For these reasons evidence-based medicine is a vehicle for many paradoxes and controversies. Reductio ad absurdum can be useful in precisely this case, to underline how and why the medical literature can sometimes give an impression of absurdity of this sort. Even if the data analysis in our paper was rather rhetorical, we agree that it should comply with the classic standards of reporting and we provide the important extra data that Cipriani and Geddes have requested.Please see related articles: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/11/230 and http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/12/105.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 9 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 14 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Norway 1 7%
Unknown 13 93%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 5 36%
Student > Master 3 21%
Student > Ph. D. Student 2 14%
Other 1 7%
Librarian 1 7%
Other 1 7%
Unknown 1 7%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 4 29%
Psychology 3 21%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 1 7%
Environmental Science 1 7%
Neuroscience 1 7%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 4 29%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 18. 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 07 February 2020.
All research outputs
#1,611,486
of 21,732,065 outputs
Outputs from BMC Medicine
#1,111
of 3,182 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#16,598
of 202,912 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Medicine
#1
of 5 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,732,065 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 3,182 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 41.4. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 65% 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 202,912 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 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 5 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