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Current Concepts Review   |    
Current Concepts Review - Methods for Locating Missing Patients for the Purpose of Long-Term Clinical Studies*
J. SCOTT SMITH, M.D.†; HUGH G. WATTS, M.D.‡, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
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Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California at Los Angeles, and the Shriners Hospital for Children, Los Angeles
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1998 Mar 01;80(3):431-8
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Long-term follow-up studies are essential in the evaluation of the results of medical care. Unanticipated side effects and early promising results that deteriorate with time are not uncommon findings in the evaluation of newly developed medical treatments. In addition, changes in the health-care system are exerting pressure on health-care providers to contain the cost of medical services. In an effort to be more cost-effective, hospitals and physicians are incorporating cost data into the medical decision-making process. The decision to select one treatment instead of another may be made on the basis of the relative costs involved, particularly over the short term. The effect that these economic factors have on the medical outcome may not be known until long-term follow-up studies have been completed.
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    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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