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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 362-365

Reporting of various methodological and statistical parameters in negative studies published in prominent Indian Medical Journals: A systematic review

1 Department of Pharmacology, GMERS Medical College, Patan, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Epidemiology, Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. J Charan
Department of Pharmacology, GMERS Medical College, Patan, Gujarat
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Source of Support: Indian Council of Medical Research (Grant No. 2012-01390),, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.143954

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Objectives: Biased negative studies not only reflect poor research effort but also have an impact on 'patient care' as they prevent further research with similar objectives, leading to potential research areas remaining unexplored. Hence, published 'negative studies' should be methodologically strong. All parameters that may help a reader to judge validity of results and conclusions should be reported in published negative studies. There is a paucity of data on reporting of statistical and methodological parameters in negative studies published in Indian Medical Journals. The present systematic review was designed with an aim to critically evaluate negative studies published in prominent Indian Medical Journals for reporting of statistical and methodological parameters. Design: Systematic review. Materials and Methods: All negative studies published in 15 Science Citation Indexed (SCI) medical journals published from India were included in present study. Investigators involved in the study evaluated all negative studies for the reporting of various parameters. Primary endpoints were reporting of "power" and "confidence interval." Results: Power was reported in 11.8% studies. Confidence interval was reported in 15.7% studies. Majority of parameters like sample size calculation (13.2%), type of sampling method (50.8%), name of statistical tests (49.1%), adjustment of multiple endpoints (1%), post hoc power calculation (2.1%) were reported poorly. Frequency of reporting was more in clinical trials as compared to other study designs and in journals having impact factor more than 1 as compared to journals having impact factor less than 1. Conclusion: Negative studies published in prominent Indian medical journals do not report statistical and methodological parameters adequately and this may create problems in the critical appraisal of findings reported in these journals by its readers.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow