3-5 Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Decisions about whether or not to use a treatment should be informed by the balance between the potential benefits and the potential harms, costs and other advantages and disadvantages of the treatment. This balance often depends on the baseline risk (i.e. the likelihood of an individual experiencing an undesirable event), or on the severity of the symptoms.The balance between the advantages and disadvantages of a treatment is more likely to favour taking a treatment for people with a higher baseline risk or more severe symptoms.

Always consider the balance between advantages and disadvantages of treatments, taking into consideration the baseline risk or the severity of symptoms.

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Balancing Benefits and harms

A blog explaining what is meant by ‘benefits’ and ‘harms’ in the context of healthcare interventions, and the importance of balancing them.


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