AdminJKent (Admin, Department of Veterans Affairs)

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  1. 371 votes
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    AdminJKent (Admin, Department of Veterans Affairs) commented  · 

    I know it is painful to see small studies and some seem like a no brainer. Fact is that this is how science is advanced. It generally starts with someone seeing a pattern and making a study to see if it can be proven with data. The first step is a small scale study, like this one, with a very manageable number of study participants in a very closely controlled setting (no random distractors). If the researcher does this well, the results are statistically valid and reliable to say that the study demonstrated what the researcher was looking at (say CPAP use reduces some specific group of symptoms based on some accepted measure for those symptoms). Once that is proven (hopefully), the scientist can propose and conduct a large study, maybe including participants and researchers from multiple locations. Those larger studies validate or refute the smaller one(s). If all goes well, the final step is something called a clinical trial. That is generally a larger study still, and it is done in a more normal clinical treatment setting. The goal is to sort out and determine a science based and proven approach to implement a research finding in the pratical setting.

    So, a very arduous and sometimes painfully slow process, but in the long term it is how science and medicine develop repeatable and effective treatments, identify connections between exposures and symptoms or biological markers (medical tests), etc. This scientific detail is what other researchers look at when they decide what to study, what providers look at when they decide how to treat patients, and what organizations like the IOM and the RAC look at when they make recommendations or draw conlusions about health issues. Unfortunately not every study is well done and not every study has positive results so there is a need to ne methodical and detail oriented. Hope this helps a bit. It doesn't answer all the concerns I know, but it is the process at work.

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    AdminJKent (Admin, Department of Veterans Affairs) commented  · 

    Good link anonymous. The results are listed though, under the "More Information" and Publications section. The publications describe the results. The first one listed says CONCLUSIONS: Our findings in this pilot study suggest that nasal CPAP may greatly improve symptoms in veterans with GWI and sleep disordered breathing. The other two probably report on the other two "hypotheses" in the proposal.

  2. 318 votes
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    AdminJKent (Admin, Department of Veterans Affairs) commented  · 

    Getting information to VA doctors has been an area that was worked this past year. A new Gulf War specific reference was developed and distributed to the field. The "Environmental Exposure Card" is also on the web at:

    http://www.publichealth.va.gov/docs/exposures/environmental-exposure-pocket-card.pdf

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