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Coughing test to diagnose peritonitis Randomised controlled trials are needed

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 16 July 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:192
  1. A S Y Fung
  1. Department of Surgery, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong
  2. Division of General Practice and Primary Care, St George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE
  3. Department of General Surgery, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN
  4. Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, London WC1X 8DA
  5. Ashtead, Surrey KT24 2SN.

    EDITOR, - Techniques of clinical testing for peritonitis, especially in early detection, are of paramount importance, but recent reports have been conflicting.1, 2 Regrettably, in David H Bennett and colleagues' study, as in the previous ones cited,3 the various techniques were not directly compared in a controlled manner. Hashimi and Stewart have pointed out that “test results are as good as the people who perform and interpret them.”4 Studies to date have assessed only an isolated technique performed by more than one observer, and so variability among observers may have played a part.

    The populations …

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