There are lies, damned lies, and statistics

This post courtesy of Anne Taylor-Vaisey (she's been busy--more to come!):

This morning I woke up to this quotation, attributed to either Mark Twain or Benjamin Disraeli. It was part of a CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Corporation] Radio commentary in which Michael Bradley, a professor of psychology at the University of New Brunswick, was commenting on the ICMJE statement re publication bias and the registration of clinical trials.

Medical journals changed their rules last month, so that ALL results from drug studies, not just the favourable results, will be published. Michael Bradley is a professor of psychology at the University of New Brunswick. On Commentary, he says this change will save lives.

You can read Professor Bradley's commentary or listen to it here.

Here is a link to the full text of the ICMJE statement: Clinical trial registration: a statement from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors [ICMJE]. CMAJ 2004 Sep 14;171(6):606-7.

The ICMJE member journals will require, as a condition of consideration for publication, registration in a public trials registry. Trials must register at or before the onset of patient enrollment. This policy applies to any clinical trial starting enrollment after July 1, 2005. For trials that began enrollment before this date, the ICMJE member journals will require registration by Sept. 13, 2005, before considering the trial for publication.

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