Although uncertainty is a common element of patient care, it has largely been overlooked in research on evidence-based medicine.
Patient Care Under Uncertainty strives to correct this glaring omission, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
Applying the tools of economics to medical decision-making, Charles Manski shows how uncertainty influences every stage, from risk analysis to treatment, and how this can be reasonably confronted.
In the language of econometrics, uncertainty refers to the inadequacy of available evidence and knowledge to yield accurate information on outcomes.
In the context of health care, a common example is a choice between periodic surveillance or aggressive treatment of patients at risk for a potential disease, such as women prone to breast cancer. While these choices make use of data analysis, Manski demonstrates how statistical imprecision and identification problems often undermine clinical research and practice.