How Low Can You Go? NURSE PRACTITIONERS VS. PHYSICIANS: THE STUDIES AND THEIR CONCLUSIONS

I don’t like lying about, misrepresenting, nor misinterpreting data. The referenced article reports: 

“A review of comparative research reveals that NPs provide exceptional quality of care that is equal to or better than that of physicians.” 

However what it doesn’t say is that when you look at the study, two parameters cite very low level of evidence, another two are low level, and three are listed as moderate. Thus conclusions based on very low, low, and moderate evidence cannot be credible. This is the 2nd blog on an article that references this study (2). The below image from the study is a bit blurry, but you get the point. This data is touted as ‘evidence’ in the article and justification for increased scope of practice. 

Another study touted as evidence (3) reports “in ambulatory care situations where patients were randomly assigned to physicians and NPs with the same authority, the patient outcomes were comparable.” First of all, this study is 20 years old! Then, the hypothesis of this article is not clear. And, holy null hypothesis, look at those ‘p’ values. Again, low-quality evidence for which is being used to justify the increased scope of practice. 

            This data misrepresentation needs to stop!!

References:

  1. https://onlinenursing.baylor.edu/news/nurse-practitioners-vs-physicians-studies-and-their-conclusions
  2. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001271.pub3/pdf/full
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10632281

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