Cross Design Synthesis:

A New Strategy for Medical Effectiveness Research

PEMD-92-18: Published: Mar 17, 1992. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 1992.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed medical study designs, focusing on: (1) the medical effectiveness of existing designs; and (2) evaluation strategies that avoid the limitations of existing approaches.

GAO found that: (1) randomized studies and data-base analyses are complementary medical study designs; (2) randomized studies are designed to achieve a valid comparison of alternative treatments, but results may not be fully generalizable to the varied conditions of medical practice; (3) to minimize the risk of overstating a treatment's average effect in the patient population, results of existing randomized studies should be subject to an in-depth assessment of their generalizability; (4) data-base analyses are potentially weak because patients are not randomly assigned to alternative treatments; and (5) multiple assessments of comparison bias can minimize imbalances in data-base analyses and indicate and enhance the usefulness of data-base results. GAO noted that: (1) it devised a strategy that extends the logic of meta-analysis or quantitative overview, which specifies ways of combining results from similar studies; and (2) the new strategy, cross design synthesis, combines results from studies complementary designs in order to capture the designs' strengths and minimize the studies' weaknesses.

Sep 15, 2016

Sep 14, 2016

Sep 12, 2016

Sep 9, 2016

Sep 6, 2016

Aug 31, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here