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Choosing important health outcomes for comparative effectiveness research: An updated systematic review and involvement of low and middle income countries

: Katherine Davis, Paula R. Williamson. Writing ± review & editing: Katherine Davis, Sarah L. Gorst, Nicola Harman, Valerie Smith, Elizabeth Gargon, Douglas G. Altman, Jane M. Blazeby, Mike Clarke, Sean Tunis

Did the reporting of prognostic studies of tumour markers improve since the introduction of REMARK guideline? A comparison of reporting in published articles

Although biomarkers are perceived as highly relevant for future clinical practice, few biomarkers reach clinical utility for several reasons. Among them, poor reporting of studies is one of the major problems. To aid improvement, reporting guidelines like REMARK for tumour marker prognostic (TMP) studies were introduced several years ago. The aims of this project were to assess...

Four Proposals to Help Improve the Medical Research Literature

David Moher and Douglas Altman outline four potential interventions that may improve the quality of peer-reviewed medical research publications.

Do declarative titles affect readers’ perceptions of research findings? A randomized trial

Background Many journals prohibit the use of declarative titles that state study findings, yet a few journals encourage or even require them. We compared the effects of a declarative versus a descriptive title on readers’ perceptions about the strength of evidence in a research abstract describing a randomized trial. Methods Study participants (medical or dental students or...

Thanks to all those who reviewed for Trials in 2015

Contributing reviewers A peer-reviewed journal would not survive without the generous time and insightful comments of the reviewers, whose efforts often go unrecognized. Although final decisions are always editorial, they are greatly facilitated by the deeper technical knowledge, scientific insights, understanding of social consequences, and passion that reviewers bring to our...

Disadvantages of using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve to assess imaging tests: A discussion and proposal for an alternative approach

Objectives The objectives are to describe the disadvantages of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC AUC) to measure diagnostic test performance and to propose an alternative based on net benefit. Methods We use a narrative review supplemented by data from a study of computer-assisted detection for CT colonography. Results We identified problems with ROC...

Choosing Important Health Outcomes for Comparative Effectiveness Research: An Updated Review and User Survey

Background A COS represents an agreed minimum set of outcomes that should be measured and reported in all trials of a specific condition. The COMET (Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials) initiative aims to collate and stimulate the development and application of COS, by including data on relevant studies within a publically available internet-based resource. In recent...

Thanks to all those who reviewed for Trials in 2014

Contributing reviewers A peer-reviewed journal would not survive without the generous time and insightful comments of the reviewers, whose efforts often go unrecognized. Although final decisions are always editorial, they are greatly facilitated by the deeper technical knowledge, scientific insights, understanding of social consequences, and passion that reviewers bring to our...

The National Institutes of Health and guidance for reporting preclinical research

The quality of reporting clinical and preclinical research is not optimal. Reporting guidelines can help make reports of research more complete and transparent, thus increasing their value and making them more useful to all readers. Getting reporting guidelines into practice is complex and expensive, and involves several stakeholders, including prospective authors, peer reviewers...

Statistical tests, P values, confidence intervals, and power: a guide to misinterpretations

Department of Epidemiology and Department of Statistics, University of California , Los Angeles, CA , USA 9 Douglas G. Altman Misinterpretation and abuse of statistical tests, confidence intervals, and

Impact of an online writing aid tool for writing a randomized trial report: the COBWEB (Consort-based WEB tool) randomized controlled trial

Background Incomplete reporting is a frequent waste in research. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of a writing aid tool (WAT) based on the CONSORT statement and its extension for non-pharmacologic treatments on the completeness of reporting of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Methods We performed a ‘split-manuscript’ RCT with blinded outcome assessment. Participants were...

Assessment of the Incremental Benefit of Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) for Interpretation of CT Colonography by Experienced and Inexperienced Readers

Objectives To quantify the incremental benefit of computer-assisted-detection (CAD) for polyps, for inexperienced readers versus experienced readers of CT colonography. Methods 10 inexperienced and 16 experienced radiologists interpreted 102 colonography studies unassisted and with CAD utilised in a concurrent paradigm. They indicated any polyps detected on a study sheet. Readers...

External validation of a Cox prognostic model: principles and methods

Background A prognostic model should not enter clinical practice unless it has been demonstrated that it performs a useful role. External validation denotes evaluation of model performance in a sample independent of that used to develop the model. Unlike for logistic regression models, external validation of Cox models is sparsely treated in the literature. Successful validation...

Is the relationship among outcome variables shown in randomized trials?

Background Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) often have more than one primary outcome and frequently have secondary and harm outcomes. Comparison of outcomes between study arms is the primary focus of RCTs, but there are times when the relation between outcomes is important, such as determining whether an intermediate outcome and a clinical outcome have a strong association. We...

Are Peer Reviewers Encouraged to Use Reporting Guidelines? A Survey of 116 Health Research Journals

Background Pre-publication peer review of manuscripts should enhance the value of research publications to readers who may wish to utilize findings in clinical care or health policy-making. Much published research across all medical specialties is not useful, may be misleading, wasteful and even harmful. Reporting guidelines are tools that in addition to helping authors prepare...

Updating standards for reporting diagnostic accuracy: the development of STARD 2015

. Reitsma 2 David E. Bruns 8 Constantine A. Gatsonis 7 Paul P. Glasziou 6 Les Irwig 5 David Moher 9 10 Henrica C. W. de Vet 4 Douglas G. Altman 11 Lotty Hooft 12 Patrick M. M. Bossuyt 1 0 Equal contributors

The natural history of conducting and reporting clinical trials: interviews with trialists

Background To investigate the nature of the research process as a whole, factors that might influence the way in which research is carried out, and how researchers ultimately report their findings. Methods Semi-structured qualitative telephone interviews with authors of trials, identified from two sources: trials published since 2002 included in Cochrane systematic reviews...