1-12 Dramatic treatment effects are rare

Large effects (where everyone or nearly everyone treated experiences a benefit or a harm) are easy to detect without fair comparisons, but few treatments have effects that are so large that fair comparisons are not needed.

Claims of large effects are likely to be wrong. Expect treatments to have moderate, small or trivial effects, rather than dramatic effects. Do not rely on claims of small or moderate effects of a treatment, which are not based on systematic reviews of fair comparisons of treatments.

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Know Your Chances

This book has been shown in two randomized trials to improve peoples' understanding of risk in the context of health care choices.

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Mother’s kiss

Low-tech approaches can have dramatic effects too. Young children sometimes place small objects – plastic toys or beads, for example […]

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