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Table 5 Possible important implications of the findings from this survey

From: Expectations for methodology and translation of animal research: a survey of health care workers

Respondents’ expectation Published empirical evidence Possible implication(s)
AR is done using the best known methods: high standards of animal welfare.a Compatible with recommendations of recent guidelines from the UK, USA, and Canada [63-65]. Studies have found poor reporting of animal welfare, including poor attention to pain control, and not using the most acceptable methods of euthanasia [11,12]. AR may need to be of much higher animal welfare quality in order to maintain public and HCW support.
AR is done using the best known methods: high standards of methodological quality.b Compatible with recommendations of recent guidelines from the UK, US, and Canada [63-65]. Studies have found poor methodological quality of AR in multiple research areas, including after publication of the ARRIVE guidelines [6-12]. AR may need to be of much higher methodological quality in order to maintain public and HCW support.
AR often produces benefit to humans. Press releases by academic medical centers often promote AR, and most claim relevance to human health without caveats about extrapolating results to people [66]. Of published basic research papers, 0.004% led to the development of a clinically useful class of drugs [67]. Most HCW may not be aware of the literature regarding translation of AR.
AR has high translation rates of findings to humans, including in the areas of toxicology, carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, and therapeutic success.c Translation rates from AR to humans are at best 0-5% in the fields of sepsis, stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, cancer, degenerative brain diseases, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, asthma, and others [16-32]. Pharmaceutical drug development translation from AR to humans is about 8% [33,34]. Reviews of high impact published AR have found translation rates are at best 1-10% [15-18,67-69]. AR may need to be much better at predicting human responses to drugs and disease in order to maintain public and HCW support.
  1. AR: animal research; HCW: health care workers.
  2. a For example, monitoring and titration of anesthesia, monitoring and titration of pain control even over-night, using the most humane known methods of euthanasia, avoiding stressed animals, and using the fewest number of animals possible.
  3. b For example, performing a systematic literature review to inform study design, using optimal design including randomization and blinding, attention to training of staff, and to choosing models that have shown translation of findings to humans.
  4. c For example, most think translation rate should be over 40%, that misleading results for humans should occur no more than 20% of the time, and that if this was not the case their support for AR would be significantly reduced.