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Table 4 Twelve key concepts that are taught in the Informed Healthcare Choices (IHC) primary school resourcesa

From: Does the use of the Informed Healthcare Choices (IHC) primary school resources improve the ability of grade-5 children in Uganda to assess the trustworthiness of claims about the effects of treatments: protocol for a cluster-randomised trial

1. Recognising the need for fair comparisons of treatments
 1.1 Treatments may be harmful
 1.2 Personal experiences or anecdotes (stories) are an unreliable basis for assessing the effects of most treatments
 1.4 Widely used treatments or treatments that have been used for a long time are not necessarily beneficial or safe
 1.5 New, brand-named, or more expensive treatments may not be better than available alternatives
 1.6 Opinions of experts or authorities do not alone provide a reliable basis for deciding on the benefits and harms of treatments
 1.7 Conflicting interests may result in misleading claims about the effects of treatments
2. Judging whether a comparison of treatments is a fair comparison
 2.1 Evaluating the effects of treatments requires appropriate comparisons
 2.2 Apart from the treatments being compared, the comparison groups need to be similar (i.e. ‘like needs to be compared with like’)
 2.5 If possible, people should not know which of the treatments being compared they are receiving
3. Understanding the role of chance
 3.1 Small studies in which few outcome events occur are usually not informative and the results may be misleading
4. Considering all the relevant fair comparisons
 4.1 The results of single comparisons of treatments can be misleading
5. Understanding the results of fair comparisons of treatments
 5.1 Treatments usually have beneficial and harmful effects
  1. aThe numbers indicate the grouping of the concepts (Box 1) and the numbering of the concepts in each group [31]