Lupus research is critical for developing new treatments, diagnostics, and wellness strategies.
There are often more questions than answers when it comes to lupus research. It can be quite frustrating to see contradictory information about treatments or lifestyle changes.
After reading enough articles on the internet about lupus research, you may even find yourself asking: What do we actually know about lupus?
There are many challenges with sharing research information. But, looking out for these 3 common issues will help you better understand the value of new research (and identify the shortcomings!).
- Oversimplification of results
- Studies often measure a number of variables or factors, some of which may be changed by the study and some that may not. Statistically significant findings make it into abstracts (and to the news), but may not be contextualized properly
- Extrapolation is a specific type of estimating that is not reflected in measurable data. Rather, estimates are made based on other measurements
- There are occasionally efforts to extrapolate information about humans from research conducted on animals. Here is an article that speaks to this specific challenge
- Ethical and logistical challenges with conducting studies in the real world
- People are different and not all variabilities can be measured. This can cause for unknown or unmeasurable factors to influence results
Underlying all of these issues are statistical challenges. Nature published a piece in 2014 that highlighted problems with P values (a measure of statistic power).