Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Effect of recessions on health

Bias in medical literature on health outcomes: bias in commentary?

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 16 December 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6634
  1. David Barlow, emeritus consultant physician
  1. Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1, UK
  1. davidbarlow{at}

Parmar and colleagues ask an important question about research on the health impact of the 2008 financial crisis in Europe and in answering have devised a new assessment tool for observational studies.1 They spend time on seven aspects of bias: among the 41 studies included (from an original 5670), risk of bias was deemed high in 30, moderate in nine, and low in two. These values do not reflect well on …

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