Case study data analysis methods

This is one of a set of measures used to assess the accuracy of a diagnostic test (see sensitivity, negative predictive value and positive predictive value). Specificity is the proportion of people without a disease who are correctly identified as not having that disease by the diagnostic test. For example, if a test has a specificity of 95%, this means that it correctly identified 95% of the people who did not have the disease, but that 5% of people without the disease were incorrectly diagnosed as having the disease (these people were ‘false positives’ on the test).

A 2011 study done to disclose possible conflicts of interests in underlying research studies used for medical meta-analyses reviewed 29 meta-analyses and found that conflicts of interests in the studies underlying the meta-analyses were rarely disclosed. The 29 meta-analyses included 11 from general medicine journals, 15 from specialty medicine journals, and three from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews . The 29 meta-analyses reviewed a total of 509 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Of these, 318 RCTs reported funding sources, with 219 (69%) receiving funding from industry [ clarification needed ] . Of the 509 RCTs, 132 reported author conflict of interest disclosures, with 91 studies (69%) disclosing one or more authors having financial ties to industry. The information was, however, seldom reflected in the meta-analyses. Only two (7%) reported RCT funding sources and none reported RCT author-industry ties. The authors concluded "without acknowledgment of COI due to industry funding or author industry financial ties from RCTs included in meta-analyses, readers' understanding and appraisal of the evidence from the meta-analysis may be compromised." [28]

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  • Citation tools Download this article to citation manager Deer Brian . How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed BMJ 2011; 342 :c5347
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    Case study data analysis methods

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