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Special Article |

Evidence-Based Medicine, the Research-Practice Gap, and Biases in Medical and Surgical Decision Making in Dermatology

William H. Eaglstein, MD
Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(10):1161-1164. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.266.
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The objectives of this article are to promote a better understanding of a group of biases that influence therapeutic decision making by physicians/dermatologists and to raise the awareness that these biases contribute to a research-practice gap that has an impact on physicians and treatment solutions. The literature included a wide range of peer-reviewed articles dealing with biases in decision making, evidence-based medicine, randomized controlled clinical trials, and the research-practice gap. Bias against new therapies, bias in favor of indirect harm or omission, and bias against change when multiple new choices are offered may unconsciously affect therapeutic decision making. Although there is no comprehensive understanding or theory as to how choices are made by physicians, recognition of certain cognition patterns and their associated biases will help narrow the research-practice gap and optimize decision making regarding therapeutic choices.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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