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October 2021

Use of check lists in assessing the statistical content of medical studies

Author(s): Machin, D., Campbell, M.

Journal/Book: British Medical Journal. 1986; 292: 810-812.

Abstract: Two check lists are used routinely in the statistical assessment of manuscripts submitted to the "BMJ." One is for papers of a general nature and the other specifically for reports an clinical trials. Each check list includes questions an the design, conduct, analysis, and presentation of studies, and answers to these contribute to the overall statistical evaluation.Only a small proportion of submitted papers are assessed statistically, and these are selected at the refereeing or editorial stage. Examination of the use of the check lists showed that most papers contained statistical failings, many of which could easily be remedied.It is recommended that the check lists should be used by statistical referees, editorial staff, and authors and also during the design stage of studies.

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