BlueRider wrote:Seen that and other stuff before.
It is a discussion on the validity of statistics rather than risk/benefit. If you would have read it,you would have understood that the author is concluding that using hospital statistics to back up statutory helmet use is not a valid approach. Only.
As a paper waving exercise, it is chaimberlain-esque.
Speigelhalter and Goldacre say, in so many words, that the benefits of cycle helmets are too modest to capture. I would have thought that if they work, you should be able to tell, and in their judicious and scientific way, S & G are clear that no effect can be detected in all the studies they have examined.
Helmets believers are the ones who encourage cyclists to wear helmets, and in some cases want to compel wearing, so the burden of proof that there is any worthwhile effect lies with them.
S & G concentrate on hospital figures because these are the ones believers use to try to show efficacy, and because they demonstrate epidemiological difficulties..
Whole population figures are easier to interpret, and in no case where compulsion has forced a sudden and large jump in wearing rate has there been a beneficial change in cyclist injury rate. So population studies do not show that their conclusion of no detectable effect is mistaken, nor are they a particularly interesting case study in epidemiology. Too straightforward.