I had an interesting meeting with the NLH regarding an extension to the Q&A service. One issue that came up was repeat questions and the need to update them. Perhaps the biggest discussion focussed on what to do with the old questions once updated. My view was to leave them on the site as much as a historical record, as a mark of the evolution of ‘knowledge’. A few days later a great example of this: the use of watchful waiting in inguinal hernias.

In the initial answer (click here), which was answered in December 2005, there was a lack of trial data but it was reported that a trial would be reporting shortly. Moving into the present day and our answer (click here) reports on the findings of that trial.

Is that significant? I believe so. Previously the ‘expert’ view was supportive of watchful waiting, now there is trial data to support that view. In the space of 6 months a clinical uncertainty has been reduced.

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