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JAMA. 1990;263(18):2510-2514. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440180120044.
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"Safe" and "effective" are defined as follows: Safety is the condition of presenting a reasonably low risk of harm, injury, or loss when a technology is utilized in the specified indication; and effectiveness is the quality of producing a desired, beneficial effect under the conditions of actual use. The categories for response to a DATTA question are defined as follows: Established—a technology demonstrated and accepted as safe and effective by the practicing medical community; investigational—a technology largely confined to use under research protocol; unacceptable—the risk/benefit ratio is unfavorable; and indeterminate—the evidence is insufficient for a definitive decision, and no consensus exists to date; further study may be warranted.
For each question, the response category receiving the most votes was tested for a majority, assuming that the DATTA panel is a sample from a broader population of experts. By using exact binominal probabilities, the likelihood of the observed vote was calculated if exactly 50% of the total population of experts support that response for that question. Hence, the null hypothesis is that 50% of all experts support the response. Rejection of the null hypothesis, and acceptance of the alternative, is interpreted as evidence of a majority opinion in the total population of experts, and a consensus is achieved.
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