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Table 1 Twelve key concepts covered by the Informed Health Choices primary school resources

From: Effects of the Informed Health Choices primary school intervention on the ability of children in Uganda to assess the reliability of claims about treatment effects, 1-year follow-up: a cluster-randomised trial

• Treatments may be harmful.
• Personal experiences or anecdotes (stories) are an unreliable basis for assessing the effects of most treatments.
• Widely used treatments or treatments that have been used for a long time are not necessarily beneficial or safe.
• New, brand-named, or more expensive treatments may not be better than available alternatives.
• Opinions of experts or authorities do not alone provide a reliable basis for deciding on the benefits and harms of treatments.
• Conflicting interests may result in misleading claims about the effects of treatments.
• Evaluating the effects of treatments requires appropriate comparisons
• Apart from the treatments being compared, the comparison groups need to be similar (i.e., ‘like needs to be compared with like’).
• If possible, people should not know which of the treatments being compared they are receiving.
• Small studies in which few outcome events occur are usually not informative, and the results may be misleading.
• The results of single comparisons of treatments can be misleading.
• Treatments usually have beneficial and harmful effects.
  1. The concepts are shown here as they are described in the key concepts list [3], which was not designed as a learning resource, not as they were presented to the children in the primary school resources [4]