Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This is a fun read

At Podiatry Arena, a post was made about some research that should have never been published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. It was an appalling piece of research. The inclusion criteria was biased toward getting the result that the researcher wanted. No means or standard deviations of the data was presented, yet the author managed to do a t-test on the data! The results were presented in a categorical fashion in a table. You can not do a t-test on categorical data (chi squared should have been used). I have no idea how or why the research got through the peer review and editorial process.

The fun thing at Podiatry Arena was these criticisms were made of the paper; the author emailed his friends all over the world from several different disciplines who all came along to say way a great guy the author was and how dare we criticise his reputation .... NOT ONE OF THEM addressed the biased inclusion criteria; the lack of presentation of means and standard deviations; the presentation of the data as categorical etc etc .... it don't figure why they blindly accept was this person says without any critical appraisal (mind you a number of contributors to the discussion have a vested financial interest in a product that the author gets royalties from). Anyone smell a rat? (link to discussion)

Back to home page