Article Text

PDF
When do we know enough to recommend action? The need to be bold but not reckless
  1. Paula Braveman
  1. Family and Community Medicine, Director, Center on Social Disparities in Health, University of California, San Francisco, 500 Parnassus Ave, MU3E, Box 0900, San Francisco, California 94143-0900, USA
    ; braveman@fcm.ucsf.edu

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    Researchers’ scientific training instils the need to recognise and explicitly acknowledge the limitations of their findings as the basis for policy recommendations. It is a matter of ethics (being truthful) and our reputations as scientists. When we present our results, we therefore take pains to state the caveats, such as potential biases, lack of statistical significance and uncertain generalisability, which could alter conclusions. “On the one hand this, but on the other hand that” rarely provides guidance for practical decisions, however, and policymakers generally tune this out.

    My colleagues and I were recently commissioned to make recommendations regarding a large public programme targeting particular health inequalities, which were not narrowing despite years of programme efforts. Our task was to …

    View Full Text

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    Linked Articles

    • In this issue
      Carlos Alvarez-Dardet John Ashton