Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Use of check lists in assessing the statistical content of medical studies.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: (Published 22 March 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:810
  1. M J Gardner,
  2. D Machin,
  3. M J Campbell


    Two check lists are used routinely in the statistical assessment of manuscripts submitted to the "BMJ." One is for papers of a general nature and the other specifically for reports on clinical trials. Each check list includes questions on the design, conduct, analysis, and presentation of studies, and answers to these contribute to the overall statistical evaluation. Only a small proportion of submitted papers are assessed statistically, and these are selected at the refereeing or editorial stage. Examination of the use of the check lists showed that most papers contained statistical failings, many of which could easily be remedied. It is recommended that the check lists should be used by statistical referees, editorial staff, and authors and also during the design stage of studies.