Re: Effect on weight gain of routinely giving albendazole to preschool children during child health days in Uganda: cluster randomised controlled trial
Dear Dr Alderman,
I am writing in relation to the paper you published in the BMJ in 2006 on the effect of albendazole on the weight of pre-school children in Uganda. I remember that, at the time it was published, concerns were raised that the confidence intervals of the main outcome, weight gain, were wrongly calculated.
I had thought that this had led to a correction on bmj.com. But it has been brought to my attention that there is no correction. I have now learnt that the correction you submitted presented the data in a different way as a letter. It did not adequately address the need for a formal correction in the abstract, and, although a series of emails ensued, the matter was never resolved. We, the BMJ, should have pursued this but did not. I am now doing so.
I see from the rapid response from David Taylor-Robinson and Paul Garner that you provided the Cochrane review group with adjusted data and that a correction has been published against the Cochrane review.
Please could you now do two things. First, provide us with a correction that we can place against the BMJ article. This will need to fully address the fact that recalculation taking into account the cluster design of your trial changes the main result and the overall message. We will need to get the text of this correction statistically peer reviewed. Secondly, could you post a rapid response in reply to the one from Taylor-Robinson and Garner addressing all their points.
While awaiting these two things from you, I am posting this email as a rapid response to your paper on bmj.com. I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible and certainly before 12 December.
Competing interests: I am the editor of the BMJ and am responsible for all it contains