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Is size everything?

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In the course of my role as Editor in Chief of EJHP I read a wide variety of papers. One of the issues that stands out for me regularly and influenced by my work in evidence-based pain medicine is the issue of study size. On one day I can read a paper that is a study of 10 patients and later the same day read one with over 8000 patients. Which is intuitively more likely to be reliable?

In clinical trials we are all aware of studies where one paper shows effectiveness and another shows no benefit of the same …

Correspondence to Professor Phil Wiffen, Pain Research Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford OX3 7LE, UK; phil.wiffen{at}

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