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1.  Global collaborative networks on meta-analyses of randomized trials published in high impact factor medical journals: a social network analysis 
BMC Medicine  2014;12:15.
Background
Research collaboration contributes to the advancement of knowledge by exploiting the results of scientific efforts more efficiently, but the global patterns of collaboration on meta-analysis are unknown. The purpose of this research was to describe and characterize the global collaborative patterns in meta-analyses of randomized trials published in high impact factor medical journals over the past three decades.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional, social network analysis. We searched PubMed for relevant meta-analyses of randomized trials published up to December 2012. We selected meta-analyses (including at least randomized trials as primary evidence source) published in the top seven high impact factor general medical journals (according to Journal Citation Reports 2011): The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, the BMJ, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine (now renamed JAMA Internal Medicine), and PLoS Medicine. Opinion articles, conceptual papers, narrative reviews, reviews without meta-analysis, reviews of reviews, and other study designs were excluded.
Results
Overall, we included 736 meta-analyses, in which 3,178 authors, 891 institutions, and 51 countries participated. The BMJ was the journal that published the greatest number of articles (39%), followed by The Lancet (18%), JAMA (15%) and the Archives of Internal Medicine (15%). The USA, the UK, and Canada headed the absolute global productivity ranking in number of papers. The 64 authors and the 39 institutions with the highest publication rates were identified. We also found 82 clusters of authors (one group with 55 members and one group with 54 members) and 19 clusters of institutions (one major group with 76 members). The most prolific authors were mainly affiliated with the University of Oxford (UK), McMaster University (Canada), and the University of Bern (Switzerland).
Conclusions
Our analysis identified networks of authors, institutions and countries publishing meta-analyses of randomized trials in high impact medical journals. This valuable information may be used to strengthen scientific capacity for collaboration and to help to promote a global agenda for future research of excellence.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-12-15
PMCID: PMC3913337  PMID: 24476131
Authorship; Evidence-based medicine; Meta-analysis; Randomized controlled trial; Scientific collaboration; Social network analysis
2.  Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) statement 
BMC Medicine  2013;11:80.
Economic evaluations of health interventions pose a particular challenge for reporting. There is also a need to consolidate and update existing guidelines and promote their use in a user friendly manner. The Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) statement is an attempt to consolidate and update previous health economic evaluation guidelines efforts into one current, useful reporting guidance. The primary audiences for the CHEERS statement are researchers reporting economic evaluations and the editors and peer reviewers assessing them for publication.
The need for new reporting guidance was identified by a survey of medical editors. A list of possible items based on a systematic review was created. A two round, modified Delphi panel consisting of representatives from academia, clinical practice, industry, government, and the editorial community was conducted. Out of 44 candidate items, 24 items and accompanying recommendations were developed. The recommendations are contained in a user friendly, 24 item checklist. A copy of the statement, accompanying checklist, and this report can be found on the ISPOR Health Economic Evaluations Publication Guidelines Task Force website (http://www.ispor.org/TaskForces/EconomicPubGuidelines.asp).
We hope CHEERS will lead to better reporting, and ultimately, better health decisions. To facilitate dissemination and uptake, the CHEERS statement is being co-published across 10 health economics and medical journals. We encourage other journals and groups, to endorse CHEERS. The author team plans to review the checklist for an update in five years.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-80
PMCID: PMC3607979  PMID: 23531108
3.  How can we improve the interpretation of systematic reviews? 
BMC Medicine  2011;9:31.
A study conducted by Lai and colleagues, published this week in BMC Medicine, suggests that more guidance might be required for interpreting systematic review (SR) results. In the study by Lai and colleagues, positive (or favorable) results were influential in changing participants' prior beliefs about the interventions presented in the systematic review. Other studies have examined the relationship between favorable systematic review results and the publication of systematic reviews. An international registry may decrease the number of unpublished systematic reviews and will hopefully decrease redundancy, increase transparency, and increase collaboration within the SR community. In addition, using guidance from the Preferred Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA: http://www.prisma-statement.org/) Statement and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE: http://www.gradeworkinggroup.org/) approach can also be used to improve the interpretation of systematic reviews. In this commentary, we highlight important methodological issues related to the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews and also present our own guidance on interpreting systematic reviews.
Please see Research article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/9/30/.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-31
PMCID: PMC3072347  PMID: 21450084
4.  Transparent and accurate reporting increases reliability, utility, and impact of your research: reporting guidelines and the EQUATOR Network 
BMC Medicine  2010;8:24.
Although current electronic methods of scientific publishing offer increased opportunities for publishing all research studies and describing them in sufficient detail, health research literature still suffers from many shortcomings. These shortcomings seriously undermine the value and utility of the literature and waste scarce resources invested in the research. In recent years there have been several positive steps aimed at improving this situation, such as a strengthening of journals' policies on research publication and the wide requirement to register clinical trials.
The EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network is an international initiative set up to advance high quality reporting of health research studies; it promotes good reporting practices including the wider implementation of reporting guidelines. EQUATOR provides free online resources http://www.equator-network.org supported by education and training activities and assists in the development of robust reporting guidelines. This paper outlines EQUATOR's goals and activities and offers suggestions for organizations and individuals involved in health research on how to strengthen research reporting.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-24
PMCID: PMC2874506  PMID: 20420659
5.  CONSORT 2010 Statement: updated guidelines for reporting parallel group randomised trials 
BMC Medicine  2010;8:18.
The CONSORT statement is used worldwide to improve the reporting of randomised controlled trials. Kenneth Schulz and colleagues describe the latest version, CONSORT 2010, which updates the reporting guideline based on new methodological evidence and accumulating experience.
To encourage dissemination of the CONSORT 2010 Statement, this article is freely accessible on bmj.com and will also be published in the Lancet, Obstetrics and Gynecology, PLoS Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, Open Medicine, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, BMC Medicine, and Trials.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-18
PMCID: PMC2860339  PMID: 20334633
6.  Helping editors, peer reviewers and authors improve the clarity, completeness and transparency of reporting health research 
BMC Medicine  2008;6:13.
Inadequate reporting is problematic for several reasons. If authors do not provide sufficient details concerning the conduct of their study, readers are left with an incomplete picture of what was done. As such, they are not able to judge the merits of the results and interpret them. The EQUATOR Network is a new initiative aimed at improving the clarity and transparency of reporting health research.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-6-13
PMCID: PMC2438435  PMID: 18558004
7.  How effective is tetracaine 4% gel, before a peripherally inserted central catheter, in reducing procedural pain in infants: a randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial [ISRCTN75884221] 
BMC Medicine  2006;4:11.
Background
Procedural pain relief is sub-optimal in infants, especially small and vulnerable ones. Tetracaine gel 4% (Ametop®, Smith-Nephew) provides pain relief in children and larger infants, but its efficacy in smaller infants and for peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) remains uncertain. The objective of this trial was to assess the safety and efficacy of tetracaine gel on the pain response of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants during insertion of a PICC.
Methods
Medically stable infants greater than or equal to 24 weeks gestation, requiring a non-urgent PICC, were included. Following randomization and double blinding, 1.1 g of tetracaine or placebo was applied to the skin for 30 minutes. The PICC was inserted according to a standard protocol. Pain was assessed using the Premature Infant Pain Profile (PIPP). A 3-point change in the pain score was considered clinically significant, leading to a sample size of 54 infants, with 90% statistical power. Local skin reactions and immediate adverse cardiorespiratory events were noted. The primary outcome, PIPP score at 1 minute, was analysed using an independent Student's t-test.
Results
Fifty-four infants were included, 27 +/- 2 weeks gestation, 916 +/- 292 grams and 6.5 +/- 3.2 days of age. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. The mean PIPP score in the first minute was 10.88 in the treatment group as compared to 11.74 in the placebo group (difference 0.86, 95% CI -1.86, 3.58). Median duration of crying in non-intubated infants was 181 seconds in the tetracaine group compared to 68 seconds in the placebo group (difference -78, 95% CI -539, 117). Local skin erythema was observed transiently in 4 infants (3 in the treatment and 1 in the placebo group). No serious harms were observed.
Conclusion
Tetracaine 4% when applied for 30 minutes was not beneficial in decreasing procedural pain associated with a PICC in very small infants.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-4-11
PMCID: PMC1468422  PMID: 16672064

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