Medicine is evidence-based — but that doesn’t mean the evidence is always correct. A new report reveals that doctors have reversed their position on an astonishing 146 established medical practices in the last 10 years. Uh… mulligan?
The research, published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reveals a raft of advice given in the past was wrong. Sifting through a mountain of research conducted between 2001 and 2010, it was found that 146 research papers were convincing enough to reverse the accepted wisdom in the medical community.
The reversals range from one paper which showed that allergen-impermeable bed covers were ineffective in the fight against asthma, to disproving the effectiveness of imposed hypothermia during surgery for intracranial aneurysms. So, you know, here’s the list of the most major reversal recorded by the researchers:
It is, however, worth noting that this shouldn’t be viewed as bad, dangerous or irresponsible. This is progress. This is how science works. You take the evidence you have at the time and do the best you can with it; if the evidence base changes, you respond appropriately.
These reversals are testament to the fact that science and medicine are ever-evolving, and highlights the importance of continued, rigorous research. Without findings like this, things would never get better. We should be heartened that they do. [Mayo Clinic Proceedings]