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Declining randomized clinical trials from Canadian anesthesia departments?

Déclin des études randomisées et contrôlées des départements ďanesthésie canadiens?



The research productivity was estimated by publications from anesthesiology departments at Canadian universities over a five-year period, and the articles published were classified into several study designs.


In this observational study, the MEDLINE database was searched for publications listed by anesthesiology departments at Canadian universities as the primary corresponding source from 2000-2004. Abstracts were reviewed and each publication categorized into its respective methodological design. Impact factors of the journals in which the articles appeared were taken into consideration. “Total impact score” was defined as the total number of articles from a particular journal in a particular year multiplied by the impact factor value. Changes in overall publication numbers over the five-year period were compared and analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficients.


Total Canadian anesthesia publications remained constant from 2000-2004. In this five-year time frame, the University of Toronto had the highest number of publications (271) followed by the University of Montreal (86), and McGill University (84). These universities conducted primarily randomized controlled trials (RCTs) whereas smaller Canadian universities mainly published case reports, reviews, and cohort studies. The number of RCTs conducted seems to be decreasing whereas the number of case reports and reviews being published are remaining constant over the five-year period.


Although overall numbers in anesthesia publications do not suggest a significant decline, the number of RCTs decreased during the years 2000-2004. The quality of anesthesia research appears to be comparable to those in other medical specialties, with larger institutions conducting RCTs and smaller institutions publishing more case reports.



La productivité en recherche a été estimée par les articles provenant des départements ďanesthésiologie des universités canadiennes sur une période de cinq ans. Les articles ont été classifiés selon la méthodologie de ľétude.


Pour cette étude observationnelle, nous avons recherché dans MEDLINE les articles publiés par les départements ďanesthésiologie des universités canadiennes en tant que source primaire conforme entre 2000 et 2004. Les résumés ont été examinés et chaque article catégorisé selon sa méthodologie respective. Les facteurs ďimpact des revues dans lesquelles les articles paraissaient ont été considérés. «Le score ďimpact total» a été défini comme le total des articles ďune revue publiés au cours ďune année et multiplié par la valeur du facteur ďimpact. Les variations du nombre total ďarticles publiés sur cinq ans ont été comparées et analysées à ľaide des coefficients de corrélation de Pearson.


Le nombre total ďarticles publiés sur ľanesthésie au Canada est demeuré constant entre 2000 et 2004. Pendant cette période, ľUniversité de Toronto a publié le plus ďarticles (271) suivie de ľUniversité de Montréal (86) et de ľuniversité McGill (84). Ces institutions ont surtout réalisé des études randomisées et contrôlées (ERC) tandis que les universités canadiennes plus.

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Correspondence to Ban C.H Tsui or Lisa X.Y Li or Victoria Ma or Alese M Wagner or Brendan T Finucane.

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Tsui, B.C., Li, L.X., Ma, V. et al. Declining randomized clinical trials from Canadian anesthesia departments?. Can J Anesth 53, 226–235 (2006).

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