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Garcia-Berthou, E and Alcaraz, C (2004)

Incongruence between test statistics and P values in medical papers

BMC Medical Research Methodology 4(13).

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: Not available at this time.

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Statistics is a difficult topic to teach and learn and there is ample evidence that its application is often faulty in medicine [1-6] as well as in many other scientific disciplines. Errors include aspects of design, analysis, and reporting and interpretation. Although there has recently been considerable effort to improve and standardise the reporting of medical research (e.g., the CONSORT statement for randomised controlled trials [7]), there is almost no literature demonstrating the incorrect computation or reporting of results beyond general deficiencies of computer packages [8,9] or some well-scrutinized data such as Benford's original data [10]. Beyond deficiencies of software, such numerical errors may later originate in the transcription of results from computer outputs to reports and manuscripts, wrong rounding of results, or uncorrected typesetting errors. We investigated this question by checking the statistical results reported in all the papers of volumes 409412 of Nature (2001) and some papers in vol. 322323 of BMJ (2001). We show that the occurrence of errors is very high and we review ways to improve current practice

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Reference Type: Journal Article

Subject Area(s): Medical Sciences