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Controversy Outcomes Research

Bourne, Robert B., MD, FRCSC*; Keller, Robert B., MD

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Whether outcomes studies will have an impact on clinical medicine is hardly debatable, but whether that impact will be positive or negative has generated considerable discussion. In this edition of Controversy, two senior investigators with extensive experience in outcomes analysis give us their respective opinions on the strengths and flaws of this rapidly expanding field of study. Dr. Bourne points out that such research is only as good as the methods applied, and illustrates the potential damage that can be done when such studies are injudiciously carried out. Dr. Keller concedes these points but emphasizes that well-done outcomes research will not only document ineffective or flawed treatments, but will scientifically validate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of many types of orthopedic treatments.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.