Errors in the conduct of systematic reviews of pharmacological interventions for irritable bowel syndrome

Ref ID 635
First Author A. C. Ford
Year Of Publishing 2010
Keywords Cochrane
Missing data
Problem(s) Errors in study inclusion or omission of relevant studies
Data extraction errors and double counting
Weaknesses identified in some Cochrane reviews
Number of systematic reviews included 8
Summary of Findings In fi ve of the eight meta-analyses 13 – 29 % of included trials were ineligible according to investigators ’ criteria, constituting 8 – 26 % of included patients. Six of the meta-analyses missed 17 separate published eligible trials; 3 – 11 % of eligible patients were, as a result, not included. All eight meta-analyses contained errors in dichotomous data extraction, in 29 – 100 % of truly eligible trials, leading to errors in 15 of 16 reported pooled treatment effects.
Did the article find that the problem(s) led to qualitative changes in interpretation of the results? Yes
Are the methods of the article described in enough detail to replicate the study? Yes