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A Piece of My Mind
November 27, 2013

EBM’s Six Dangerous Words

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Population Health, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York
JAMA. 2013;310(20):2149-2150. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281996

The six most dangerous words in evidence-based medicine (EBM) do not directly cause deaths or adverse events. They do not directly cause medical errors or diminutions in quality of care. However, they may indirectly cause these adverse consequences by leading to false inferences for decision making. Consider the following statements, each of which includes the six most dangerous words:

• There is no evidence to suggest that hospitalizing compared with not hospitalizing patients with acute shortness of breath reduces mortality.

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