Document Detail

Susceptibility to fraud in systematic reviews: lessons from the Reuben case.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19934873     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Dr. Scott Reuben allegedly fabricated data. The authors of the current article examined the impact of Reuben reports on conclusions of systematic reviews. METHODS: The authors searched in ISI Web of Knowledge systematic reviews citing Reuben reports. Systematic reviews were grouped into one of three categories: I, only cited but did not include Reuben reports; II, retrieved and considered, but eventually excluded Reuben reports; III, included Reuben reports. For quantitative systematic reviews (i.e., meta-analyses), a relevant difference was defined as a significant result becoming nonsignificant (or vice versa) by excluding Reuben reports. For qualitative systematic reviews, each author decided independently whether noninclusion of Reuben reports would have changed conclusions. RESULTS: Twenty-five systematic reviews (5 category I, 6 category II, 14 category III) cited 27 Reuben reports (published 1994-2007). Most tested analgesics in surgical patients. One of 6 quantitative category III reviews would have reached different conclusions without Reuben reports. In all 6 (30 subgroup analyses involving Reuben reports), exclusion of Reuben reports never made any difference when the number of patients from Reuben reports was less than 30% of all patients included in the analysis. Of 8 qualitative category III reviews, all authors agreed that one would certainly have reached different conclusions without Reuben reports. For another 4, the authors' judgment was not unanimous. CONCLUSIONS: Carefully performed systematic reviews proved robust against the impact of Reuben reports. Quantitative systematic reviews were vulnerable if the fraudulent data were more than 30% of the total. Qualitative systematic reviews seemed at greater risk than quantitative.
Emmanuel Marret; Nadia Elia; J??rgen B Dahl; Henry J McQuay; Steen M??iniche; R Andrew Moore; Sebastian Straube; Martin R Tram??r
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Anesthesiology     Volume:  111     ISSN:  1528-1175     ISO Abbreviation:  Anesthesiology     Publication Date:  2009 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-11-25     Completed Date:  2009-12-30     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  1300217     Medline TA:  Anesthesiology     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1279-89     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Division of Anesthesiology, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Clinical Pharmacology, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.
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MeSH Terms
Analgesics / adverse effects,  therapeutic use
Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / adverse effects,  therapeutic use
Meta-Analysis as Topic*
Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Review Literature as Topic*
Scientific Misconduct*
Treatment Outcome
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Analgesics; 0/Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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