How can we all best use scientific evidence?

Media coverage of the use of statins to prevent cardiovascular disease, of Tamiflu to treat flu and of the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer have opened up public debate about medical and scientific claims.

CLAHRC researcher and leader of our behaviour change theme Professor Rob Horne (pictured below) has helped produce new resources for professionals and patients to improve the way evidence about medicines is communicated.

Professor Horne is part of a prestigious Oversight Group within the Academy of Medical Sciences looking at how scientific evidence around medicines can best be communicated and understood.

Their report entitled Enhancing the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines aims to address problems that can arise from poor-quality evidence about medicines, or misrepresentation or misperception of evidence.

The report and associated resources will help health professionals to improve the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines. This will lead to better, more informed conversations between professional and patient about the benefits and risks of prescribing (or not prescribing) a particular medicine.

Other resources produced as part of this work include a pocket guide for patients entitled Helping you decide whether to take a medicine

 

Professor Robert Horne

Prof Rob Horne founded the Centre for Behavioural Medicine at the UCL School of Pharmacy in 2006 and has developed a range of valid and reliable tools to assess patient perspectives of illness and treatments. Over the past decade, his research has generated over 140 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and research grants over £10M (as PI and co-applicant). Rob was designated a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 2010 and was appointed a NIHR Senior Investigator in 2011. In 2012 he was appointed as UCL’s academic lead for the Centre for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation (CASMI), a joint undertaking with the University of Oxford. In 2005/6 he led a scoping exercise commissioned by the NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO) Programme to produce a conceptual map of compliance, adherence and concordance and to identify priorities for future research. This work formed the basis for the NICE Medicine Adherence Guidelines which he co-authored in 2009. He has also advised the European Parliament, MRC, DoH, NHS and the WHO.