The time to act is now: pseudo-systematic review

BMJ. 2020 Dec 10;371:m4143. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m4143.


Objective: To identify any medical or public health rationale for claims that the time to act is now.

Design: Pseudo-systematic review.

Data sources: PubMed.

Study selection: Studies that included the claim "time is now" in the title, with or without exclamation marks. No language or date restriction was applied.

Results: 512 articles were included for review. No relationship was identified between time to act and disease burden, severity, or specialty. Claims that the time to act was Christmas were almost entirely without basis. A clustering of claims that it is time to act in the first quarter of the year suggested a possible association with New Year's resolutions.

Conclusions: Now is as good a time as any.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic*
  • Time