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June 1, 1940

THE VALIDITY OF RECORDS OF PRIVATE PATIENTS IN THE EVALUATION OF RESULTS OF TREATMENT

JAMA. 1940;114(22):2236-2237. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810220060018

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  In a special article entitled "The Drug Therapy of Epilepsy" in The Journal, April 6, page 1347, Dr. William G. Lennox makes suggestions tending to show that the "records" from which I obtained the data on which I based the conclusions of the efficacy of sodium bromide in preventing the seizures of patients suffering from epilepsy (Remissions of Attacks in Epilepsy Treated with Sodium Bromide, The Journal, Feb. 26, 1938, p. 632) "may be artificially optimistic." Dr. Lennox, I assume, meant that optimism born of the conclusions reached from my data was "artificial," since, as he estimates, the data were derived from a material which was not homogeneous but was loaded with mild cases. I quote his paragraph dealing with this suggestion:Statistics concerning patients receiving active medical attention need to be studied with respect to their source. On the one hand the records of clinicians may

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