In the rush to treat patients and publish evidence during a pandemic, there are risks associated with not diligently applying the critical appraisal framework, and studies not undergoing the appropriate peer review and approval processes. This presentation will highlight two cases that demonstrate these risks. The first case will evaluate the impact of France’s health minister tweeting that utilization of anti-inflammatory drugs could aggravate COVID-19 infections, despite no evidence to support the claim. The message was initially propagated by the World Health Organization; but, was later withdrawn. The second case inquires how the peer review process failed to warn against leading medical journals publishing studies that relied upon a data set obtained from a start-up company with few resources and no formal agreements with hospitals that would have enabled them to obtain protected patient level data.
Explain the risks associated with relying on social media distributed expert opinion, in the absence of critical appraisal, when interpreting and applying evidence.
Summarize the importance of the peer review process and why evidence presented in high impact factor journals still require critical evaluation.