A cracker in the Christmas BMJ reports the insightful use of children to help create patient information leaflets. Whilst the article is tongue-in-cheek, in the spirit of the Christmas BMJ, there may just be something in it!
Our careers (at least partly) depend on our publications. The more, the better and to suit our needs we have a journal for any kind of publication. Sometimes, you read something and you may think “Hey, I have seen that before”. If the new study than confirms a previous finding, we apparently have a reproducible fact, which increases the likelihood that it is indeed true. Here is an example. Or not? Continue reading
Yet another meta-analysis telling us that we are doing something very valuable: antibiotic stewardship (AS). Nobody wants to (or should) question that good AS is important for our patients, just as hand hygiene, being sober when working and following the latest professional developments. How nice would it be if we could reliably quantify the effects of our good practice. One study is no study (say those that usually don’t perform studies), so the meta-analysis was invented. But what is told by a meta-analysis? Continue reading
British colleagues found no scientific evidence for “completing your course of antibiotics”. Nothing new, but in the absence of competing news (the White House has become a daily soap) they opened Pandoras’ box for the lay press, with patients being recommended to stop their antibiotics, whenever they want. The birth of yet another inconvenient truth, as we cannot translate our knowledge into daily medical practice, and patients get even more confused. The good news: a new research agenda. Continue reading
I’m packing for vacation. The book that I will NOT pack is: Rigor Mortis, how sloppy science creates worthless cures, crushes hope and wastes billions by Richard Harris. I read it already two times, and anyone interested in science, or trying to deliver a piece of it once in a while, should read it. It makes you realise what we do, what we publish and what we read. And then, it makes you humble (or sad, or furious, or happy). Continue reading
Exposed; that’s what we are. We, Dutch clinical microbiologists. Globally acknowledged for our capacity to control antibiotic resistance, prevent hospital-acquired infections (HAI) and practice the most rational and restrictive antibiotic policies. That we are self-confident, loud and arrogant is taken for granted, as most do with Christiano Ronaldo. But it is with great sadness that I have to announce that it was all FAKE. The balloon was pricked by professor Marcel Levi. Continue reading
Racheal Troughton (bio below) reports on a fascinating study…As readers of this post are no doubt aware, the community of researchers and clinicians working in infectious diseases are increasingly using social media as a resource, and a platform for scientific discourse. But there is little discussion on precisely how it is being used. Back in 2015, we began a study to analyse the content and culture surrounding blogs in the field of infectious diseases – the “blogosphere”. Continue reading