Title

Reporting of effect direction and size in abstracts of systematic reviews

Date of this Version

11-9-2011

Document Type

Letter to the Editor

Publication Details

Published version

Beller, E.M., Glasziou, P.P., Hopewell, S., & Altman,D.G. (2011). Reporting of effect direction and size in abstracts of systematic reviews. JAMA, 306(18), 1981-2

Access the journal

© Copyright American Medical Association, 2011

ISSN

1538-3598

Abstract

Extract: Clinicians commonly misinterpret systematic review abstracts: a recent study showed many arrived at incorrect conclusions, and only 62% correctly identified the direction of the main effect.//.Interpreting numerical results requires statistical knowledge that many clinicians lack. To ensure correct interpretation, abstracts should give the direction and size of effects both in words and numerically. Because systematic reviews are important and widely used summaries of primary research, we decided to examine a sample of systematic review abstracts to assess the nature and extent of any deficiencies in reporting.