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November 2002

Questionable Techniques for Evaluating Photodamage

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2002 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2002

Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(11):1515. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.11.1515

The article titled "Tazarotene Cream for the Treatment of Facial Photodamage" in the December 2001 issue of the ARCHIVES1 is far removed from the standards of evidence-based medicine. There are missing data, numerical juggling, and selective reporting of data.

In the authors' summary, percentage success rates are based on "global response," a measure that involved the investigator's memory. At each visit, evaluators compared the subject's condition with their recall of the subject's appearance at baseline and scored this on a 7-point scale. Is it realistic to expect an investigator to remember what the subject's skin looked like 6 months ago?

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