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A survey of statistics in three UK general practice journal

Rigby, A.S., Armstrong, G.K., Campbell, M.J. and Summerton, N. (2004) A survey of statistics in three UK general practice journal. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 4 (28). ISSN 1471-2288

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Abstract

Background

Many medical specialities have reviewed the statistical content of their journals. To our knowledge this has not been done in general practice. Given the main role of a general practitioner as a diagnostician we thought it would be of interest to see whether the statistical methods reported reflect the diagnostic process.

Methods

Hand search of three UK journals of general practice namely the British Medical Journal (general practice section), British Journal of General Practice and Family Practice over a one-year period (1 January to 31 December 2000).

Results

A wide variety of statistical techniques were used. The most common methods included t-tests and Chi-squared tests. There were few articles reporting likelihood ratios and other useful diagnostic methods. There was evidence that the journals with the more thorough statistical review process reported a more complex and wider variety of statistical techniques.

Conclusions

The BMJ had a wider range and greater diversity of statistical methods than the other two journals. However, in all three journals there was a dearth of papers reflecting the diagnostic process. Across all three journals there were relatively few papers describing randomised controlled trials thus recognising the difficulty of implementing this design in general practice.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2004 Rigby et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Health and Related Research (Sheffield) > Institute of General Practice & Primary Care (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 01:20
Published Version: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2288/4/28
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1186/1471-2288-4-28
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1092

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