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Question 11: Does it describe the risks of each treatment?

What the question is about and why it is important

A good quality publication will describe the risks of each treatment. Most  treatments involve some risks or disadvantages. It is important to be aware of the risks so that you know what to expect from a treatment and can decide whether it is associated with an outcome that is important for you.

Rating the question

The question is only concerned with the treatment or treatments described in the publication, and simply requires you to rate whether any risk is mentioned for each of the treatments described. The question is not concerned with the size of the risk or who is most likely to be at risk. The question cannot be used to assess whether all of the risks associated with each treatment have been described as this would involve checking against other sources.

Guidelines for rating the question:

  • 5: Yes - a risk is described for each treatment.

  • 2 - 4: Partially - a risk is described for some but not all of the treatments.

  • 1: No - no risks are described for any of the treatments.


5 rating (a single treatment publication):

Side-effects include dizziness, muscle pain and insomnia.’

‘The research revealed the main side-effects were generally mild and reversible and included a dry mouth and nausea. The treatment did not seem to have a harmful effect on any major organs when taken over a short period. However, some users developed kidney problems after prolonged use and the treatment should be carefully monitored.’

A publication concerned with more than one treatment will be rated 5 if similar descriptions are provided for each treatment mentioned.