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      Progressive Statistics for Studies in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science :

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          Abstract

          Statistical guidelines and expert statements are now available to assist in the analysis and reporting of studies in some biomedical disciplines. We present here a more progressive resource for sample-based studies, meta-analyses, and case studies in sports medicine and exercise science. We offer forthright advice on the following controversial or novel issues: using precision of estimation for inferences about population effects in preference to null-hypothesis testing, which is inadequate for assessing clinical or practical importance; justifying sample size via acceptable precision or confidence for clinical decisions rather than via adequate power for statistical significance; showing SD rather than SEM, to better communicate the magnitude of differences in means and nonuniformity of error; avoiding purely nonparametric analyses, which cannot provide inferences about magnitude and are unnecessary; using regression statistics in validity studies, in preference to the impractical and biased limits of agreement; making greater use of qualitative methods to enrich sample-based quantitative projects; and seeking ethics approval for public access to the depersonalized raw data of a study, to address the need for more scrutiny of research and better meta-analyses. Advice on less contentious issues includes the following: using covariates in linear models to adjust for confounders, to account for individual differences, and to identify potential mechanisms of an effect; using log transformation to deal with nonuniformity of effects and error; identifying and deleting outliers; presenting descriptive, effect, and inferential statistics in appropriate formats; and contending with bias arising from problems with sampling, assignment, blinding, measurement error, and researchers' prejudices. This article should advance the field by stimulating debate, promoting innovative approaches, and serving as a useful checklist for authors, reviewers, and editors.

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          Most cited references 8

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          The CONSORT statement: revised recommendations for improving the quality of reports of parallel-group randomized trials.

          To comprehend the results of a randomized, controlled trial (RCT), readers must understand its design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation. That goal can be achieved only through complete transparency from authors. Despite several decades of educational efforts, the reporting of RCTs needs improvement. Investigators and editors developed the original CONSORT (Con solidated S tandards o f R eporting T rials) statement to help authors improve reporting by using a checklist and flow diagram. The revised CONSORT statement presented in this paper incorporates new evidence and addresses some criticisms of the original statement. The checklist items pertain to the content of the Title, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. The revised checklist includes 22 items selected because empirical evidence indicates that not reporting the information is associated with biased estimates of treatment effect or because the information is essential to judge the reliability or relevance of the findings. We intended the flow diagram to depict the passage of participants through an RCT. The revised flow diagram depicts information from four stages of a trial (enrollment, intervention allocation, follow-up, and analysis). The diagram explicitly includes the number of participants, for each intervention group, that are included in the primary data analysis. Inclusion of these numbers allows the reader to judge whether the authors have performed an intention-to-treat analysis. In sum, the CONSORT statement is intended to improve the reporting of an RCT, enabling readers to understand a trial's conduct and to assess the validity of its results.
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            Towards complete and accurate reporting of studies of diagnostic accuracy: the STARD initiative

             P Bossuyt (2003)
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              Guidelines for meta-analyses evaluating diagnostic tests.

              To introduce guidelines for the conduct, reporting, and critical appraisal of meta-analyses evaluating diagnostic tests and to apply these guidelines to recently published meta-analyses of diagnostic tests. Based on current concepts of how to assess diagnostic tests and conduct meta-analyses. They are applied to all meta-analyses evaluating diagnostic tests published in English-language journals from January 1990 through December 1991, identified through MEDLINE searching and by experts in the field. Meta-analyses were included if at least two of three independent readers regarded their main purpose as the evaluation of diagnostic tests against a concurrent reference standard. By three independent readers on the extent to which meta-analyses fulfilled each guideline, with consensus defined as agreement by at least two readers. The guidelines are concerned with determining the objective of the meta-analysis, identifying the relevant literature and extracting the data, estimating diagnostic accuracy, and identifying the extent to which variability is explained by study design characteristics and characteristics of the patients and diagnostic test. In general, the guidelines were only partially fulfilled. Meta-analysis is potentially important in the assessment of diagnostic tests. Those reading meta-analyses evaluating diagnostic tests should critically appraise them; those doing meta-analyses should apply recently developed methods. The conduct and reporting of primary studies on which meta-analyses are based require improvement.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
                Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                0195-9131
                2009
                January 2009
                : 41
                : 1
                : 3-13
                Article
                10.1249/MSS.0b013e31818cb278
                19092709
                © 2009
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