Clinical heterogeneity was a common problem in Cochrane reviews of physiotherapy and occupational therapy

Ref ID 381
First Author C. H. van den Ende
Year Of Publishing 2006
Keywords Cochrane
Low reporting quality
Problem(s) Inadequate analysis of heterogeneity
Multiplicity of outcomes and lack of pre-specification for outcome reporting
Poor execution of narrative synthesis
Intervention not described / defined
Number of systematic reviews included 52
Summary of Findings In 58% of included reviews, more than one intervention was evaluated. In 52% of the reviews no quantitative data synthesis was performed, and in 33% reviews neither quantitative nor qualitative synthesis was performed. The reasons for not conducting a quantitative data synthesis were clinical and/or statistical heterogeneity; insufficient data reported; too few included studies; and other methodologic reasons. In 21% of studies a qualitative data synthesis was performed, using five different methods. In many reviews outcomes such as ‘‘functional ability’’ or ‘‘pain’’ were not restricted to specific instruments, which meant that a large number of instruments were investigated.
Did the article find that the problem(s) led to qualitative changes in interpretation of the results? Not Applicable
Are the methods of the article described in enough detail to replicate the study? Yes