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Data Analysis and Presentation: Writing a Paper for Publication

  • Derek Pearson

Abstract

The extent to which your clinical trial will contribute to the greater scientific good will depend, to a great degree, on the quality of the presentation and dissemination of the results. Your trial is likely to be one of many that addresses the research question you have posed. In some cases the treatment effect will be overestimated and results, particularly from small trials, will be contradictory. The results from a number of trials will probably have to be combined in order to get a true picture of the effectiveness of an NME. Ideally, the report of your trial will be of sufficient quality to be included in a meta-analysis and demonstrate the effectiveness of your intervention in the treatment of osteoporosis. There are, unfortunately, a number of limitations that are common when writing up trials that lead to bias and the exclusion of studies from subsequent meta-analysis. These include:1
  1. 1.

    Use of multiple endpoints (measure 20 things on a patient — one is bound to be significant — result: a publication).

     
  2. 2.

    Use of surrogate endpoints (e.g. BMD as a surrogate for fracture risk).

     
  3. 3.

    Too many subgroup analyses.

     
  4. 4.

    Incorrect analysis of repeated measures.

     
  5. 5.

    Too many treatment groups in one study.

     
  6. 6.

    Small study numbers.

     
  7. 7.

    Under-reporting of non-significant results.

     

Keywords

Bone Mineral Density Postmenopausal Woman Fracture Risk Lumbar Spine Bone Mineral Density Consort Statement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Pearson

There are no affiliations available

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