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14.1.3  When it is most important to consider adverse effects

The resources devoted to including adverse outcomes in reviews should be considered in relation to the importance of the intervention itself. If an intervention clearly does not work, or has little potential benefit and is not widely used, it may not be worth devoting resources towards a detailed evaluation of adverse effects. On the other hand, a detailed analysis of adverse effects would be warranted if the information on potential harm appears to be essential in guiding decisions of clinicians, consumers and policymakers.


Table 14.1.a exemplifies situations where analysis of adverse effects has an important role in treatment decisions.