Sprague Word

The future and more from Richard Sprague

Posted by sprague on June 17, 2004

WSJ.com – The Informed Patient [subscription required] surveys how to get direct online access to information about clinical trials.

Currently existing registries are run by the National Institutes of Health and a host of private organizations. Web sites like MedlinePlus.gov offer direct links to most published medical studies, which in some cases are free or else can be purchased directly from the journal. And more help is under development, such as an upcoming guide from the National Library of Medicine on understanding reports.

For example, data from the Women’s Health Initiative, a study of hormone-replacement therapy (www.nia.nih.gov/menopause/faq-detailed.htm), offers details on risk of heart attack, colon cancer and hip fractures that woman wouldn’t be able to find just from the pill package.

The site www.trialscentral.org publishes free reports on how to enroll in clinical trials.

Also see National Cancer Institute’s cancer.gov, the National Library of Medicine’s ClinicalTrials.gov and MedlinePlus.gov.

A primer from Englewood, Colo.-based Craig Hospital for Spinal Cord Injuries (www.craighospital.org), titled “Those Scary Statistics,” helps explain statistics used in research.

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