Researchers claim clinical trials are reported with misleading statistics

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 08 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1353
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    US researchers have claimed that most randomised trials of new treatments published in leading medical journals are reported in a potentially misleading way, with statistics designed to make the results more positive than if other statistical tests were used.

    Researchers from the University of California at Davis, near Sacramento, reviewed 359 randomised clinical trials of new treatments published between 1989 and 1998 in five major medical journals: the Annals of Internal Medicine, BMJ, JAMA, Lancet, and New England Journal of Medicine.

    They found that most of the trials report results based on relative risk reduction—the percentage difference in end points between the active treatment and …

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