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BMC Medical Research Methodology

Marko Ćurković, Andro Košec
BACKGROUND: Using internet search engines (such as Google search) in systematic literature reviews is increasingly becoming a ubiquitous part of search methodology. In order to integrate the vast quantity of available knowledge, literature mostly focuses on systematic reviews, considered to be principal sources of scientific evidence at all practical levels. Any possible individual methodological flaws present in these systematic reviews have the potential to become systemic. MAIN TEXT: This particular bias, that could be referred to as (re)search bubble effect, is introduced because of inherent, personalized nature of internet search engines that tailors results according to derived user preferences based on unreproducible criteria...
November 13, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Leili Tapak, Michael R Kosorok, Majid Sadeghifar, Omid Hamidi
BACKGROUND: This study aimed to introduce recursively imputed survival trees into multistate survival models (MSRIST) to analyze these types of data and to identify the prognostic factors influencing the disease progression in patients with intermediate events. The proposed method is fully nonparametric and can be used for estimating transition probabilities. METHODS: A general algorithm was provided for analyzing multi-state data with a focus on the illness-death and progressive multi-state models...
November 13, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Jalileh Ghanbari, Asghar Mohammadpoorasl, Leila Jahangiry, Mahdieh Abbasalizad Farhangi, Jamileh Amirzadeh, Koen Ponnet
BACKGROUND: Hypertension remains one of the most important preventable risk factors for diseases and death. Identifying clustered patterns of modifiable lifestyle risk factors for hypertension and demographics factors related to these clustered patterns allows for targeting health prevention interventions. Therefore, this study aims to identify latent classes of hypertensive patients' lifestyle risk factors based on the clustering of four modifiable lifestyle risk factors: eating, physical activity patterns, smoking habits, and blood pressure control...
November 12, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Lorenz Uhlmann, Katrin Jensen, Meinhard Kieser
BACKGROUND: Network meta-analysis is an extension of the classical pairwise meta-analysis and allows to compare multiple interventions based on both head-to-head comparisons within trials and indirect comparisons across trials. Bayesian or frequentist models are applied to obtain effect estimates with credible or confidence intervals. Furthermore, p-values or similar measures may be helpful for the comparison of the included arms but related methods are not yet addressed in the literature...
November 12, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Kathryn Walton, Tory Ambrose, Angela Annis, David Wl Ma, Jess Haines
BACKGROUND: With 1 in 4 Canadian preschoolers considered overweight or obese, identifying risk factors for excess weight gain and developing effective interventions aimed at promoting healthy weights and related behaviours among young children have become key public health priorities. Despite the need for this research, engaging and maintaining participation is a critical challenge for long-term, family-based studies. The aim of this study is to describe the implementation and evaluation of a parent-only advisory council designed to engage participants in the implementation and evaluation of a longitudinal, family-based obesity prevention intervention...
November 8, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Jan Wirsching, Sophie Graßmann, Fabian Eichelmann, Laura Malin Harms, Matthew Schenk, Eva Barth, Alide Berndzen, Moses Olalekan, Leen Sarmini, Hedwig Zuberer, Krasimira Aleksandrova
BACKGROUND: Biomarker-based analyses are commonly reported in observational epidemiological studies; however currently there are no specific study quality assessment tools to assist evaluation of conducted research. Accounting for study design and biomarker measurement would be important for deriving valid conclusions when conducting systematic data evaluation. METHODS: We developed a study quality assessment tool designed specifically to assess biomarker-based cross-sectional studies (BIOCROSS) and evaluated its inter-rater reliability...
November 6, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Macey L Murray, Jade Meadows, Caroline J Doré, Andrew J Copas, Lewis J Haddow, Charles Lacey, Mark Jit, Kate Soldan, Kate Bennett, Michelle Tetlow, Mayura Nathan, Richard Gilson
BACKGROUND: Anogenital warts are the second most common sexually transmitted infection diagnosed in sexual health services in England. About 90% of genital warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6 or 11, and half of episodes diagnosed are recurrences. The best and most cost-effective treatment for patients with anogenital warts is unknown. The commonly used treatments are self-administered topical agents, podophyllotoxin (0.15% cream) or imiquimod (5% cream), or cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen...
November 6, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Niamh Fitzgerald, Matt Egan, Frank de Vocht, Colin Angus, James Nicholls, Niamh Shortt, Tim Nichols, Nason Maani Hessari, Cheryl McQuire, Richard Purves, Nathan Critchlow, Andrea Mohan, Laura Mahon, Colin Sumpter, Linda Bauld
BACKGROUND: Recent regulatory changes in the system by which premises are licensed to sell alcohol, have given health representatives a formal role in the process in England and Scotland. The degree to which local public health teams engage with this process varies by locality in both nations, which have different licensing regimes. This study aims to critically assess the impact on alcohol-related harms - and mechanisms - of public health stakeholders' engagement in alcohol premises licensing from 2012 to 2018, comparing local areas with differing types and intensities of engagement, and examining practice in Scotland and England...
November 6, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Judith Tillmann, Rieke Schnakenberg, Marie-Therese Puth, Klaus Weckbecker, Johannes Just, Eva Münster
BACKGROUND: Considering the targeted general practitioner-centred healthcare in Germany, general practitioners (GPs) are in the best possible position to increase awareness of all sorts of dementia, an age-related syndrome with rising relevance in the future. In Germany, a doubling of the number of cases from 1.55 million up to 3 million in 2050 is predicted. Diagnostics can be challenging, especially among patients with a migration background. Complicating factors include: Language-based diagnostic tools, cultural differences in handling the syndrome and its underlying diseases as well as a differing use of the healthcare system...
November 6, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Shi Yan, Yu Heng Kwan, Chuen Seng Tan, Julian Thumboo, Lian Leng Low
BACKGROUND: Data-driven population segmentation analysis utilizes data analytics to divide a heterogeneous population into parsimonious and relatively homogenous groups with similar healthcare characteristics. It is a promising patient-centric analysis that enables effective integrated healthcare interventions specific for each segment. Although widely applied, there is no systematic review on the clinical application of data-driven population segmentation analysis. METHODS: We carried out a systematic literature search using PubMed, Embase and Web of Science following PRISMA criteria...
November 3, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Fengqing Zhang, Tinashe M Tapera, Jiangtao Gou
BACKGROUND: Diet plays an important role in chronic disease, and the use of dietary pattern analysis has grown rapidly as a way of deconstructing the complexity of nutritional intake and its relation to health. Pattern analysis methods, such as principal component analysis (PCA), have been used to investigate various dimensions of diet. Existing analytic methods, however, do not fully utilize the predictive potential of dietary assessment data. In particular, these methods are often suboptimal at predicting clinically important variables...
October 29, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Lauren Lapointe-Shaw, Zachary Bouck, Nicholas A Howell, Theis Lange, Ani Orchanian-Cheff, Peter C Austin, Noah M Ivers, Donald A Redelmeier, Chaim M Bell
BACKGROUND: Mediation analysis tests whether the relationship between two variables is explained by a third intermediate variable. We sought to describe the usage and reporting of mediation analysis with time-to-event outcomes in published healthcare research. METHODS: A systematic search of Medline, Embase, and Web of Science was executed in December 2016 to identify applications of mediation analysis to healthcare research involving a clinically relevant time-to-event outcome...
October 29, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Jesper Nordenskjöld, Stina Brodén, Isam Atroshi
BACKGROUND: The most commonly reported outcome measure in Dupuytren disease is the extension deficit in finger joints. This study aimed to investigate the examiners' influence on the measured difference between active and passive extension deficit. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted on 157 consecutive patients (81% men, mean age 70 years) scheduled for collagenase treatment for Dupuytren disease. Before injection, one of three experienced hand therapists measured active extension deficit (AED) and passive extension deficit (PED) in the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints of the affected fingers using a hand-held metal goniometer...
October 29, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Saman Maroufizadeh, Mostafa Hosseini, Abbas Rahimi Foroushani, Reza Omani-Samani, Payam Amini
BACKGROUND: Dyadic data analysis (DDA) is increasingly being used to better understand, analyze and model intra- and inter-personal mechanisms of health in various types of dyads such as husband-wife, caregiver-patient, doctor-patient, and parent-child. A key strength of the DDA is its flexibility to take the nonindependence available in the dyads into account. In this article, we illustrate the value of using DDA to examine how anxiety is associated with marital satisfaction in infertile couples...
October 26, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
David Evans, Noreen Hopewell-Kelly, Michele Kok, Jo White
BACKGROUND: A number of conceptual frameworks for patient and public involvement (PPI) in research have been published in recent years. Although some are based on empirical research and/or existing theory, in many cases the basis of the conceptual frameworks is not evident. In 2015 a systematic review was published by a collaborative review group reporting a meta-narrative approach to synthesise a conceptual framework for PPI in research (hereafter 'the synthesis'). As the first such synthesis it is important to critically scrutinise this meta-narrative review...
October 25, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Hope Seib McMaster, Valerie A Stander, Christianna S Williams, Kelly A Woodall, Christopher A O'Malley, Lauren M Bauer, Evelyn P Davila
BACKGROUND: While enrolling dyads in research studies is not uncommon, there is limited literature on the utility of different recruitment strategies and the resulting selection biases. This paper examined two recruitment strategies used to enroll military couples in a longitudinal study, assessing the impact of both strategies on the representativeness of the final study sample. METHOD: Descriptive and bivariate analyses were conducted to 1) identify characteristics associated with spouse referral, 2) compare response rates based on recruitment strategy and assess whether recruitment strategy modified correlates of response propensity among spouses, and 3) assess whether referred spouse characteristics differed from non-referred spouses in the final sample...
October 24, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Loukia M Spineli, Juan J Yepes-Nuñez, Holger J Schünemann
BACKGROUND: To provide empirical evidence about prevalence, reporting and handling of missing outcome data in systematic reviews with network meta-analysis and acknowledgement of their impact on the conclusions. METHODS: We conducted a systematic survey including all published systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials comparing at least three interventions from January 1, 2009 until March 31, 2017. RESULTS: We retrieved 387 systematic reviews with network meta-analysis...
October 24, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Clément Bader, Sébastien Cossin, Aline Maillard, Antoine Bénard
BACKGROUND: Value of information is now recognized as a reference method in the decision process underpinning cost-effectiveness evaluation. The expected value of perfect information (EVPI) is the expected value from completely reducing the uncertainty surrounding the cost-effectiveness of an innovative intervention. Among sample size calculation methods used in cost-effectiveness studies, only one is coherent with this decision framework. It uses a Bayesian approach and requires data of a pre-existing cost-effectiveness study to derive a valid prior EVPI...
October 22, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Christopher J Sroka, Haikady N Nagaraja
BACKGROUND: The odds ratio (OR) is used as an important metric of comparison of two or more groups in many biomedical applications when the data measure the presence or absence of an event or represent the frequency of its occurrence. In the latter case, researchers often dichotomize the count data into binary form and apply the well-known logistic regression technique to estimate the OR. In the process of dichotomizing the data, however, information is lost about the underlying counts which can reduce the precision of inferences on the OR...
October 20, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Boris Bikbov, Norberto Perico, Giuseppe Remuzzi
BACKGROUND: Conducting a systematic review requires a comprehensive bibliographic search. Comparing different search strategies is essential for choosing those that cover all useful data sources. Our aim was to develop search strategies for article retrieval for a systematic review of the global epidemiology of kidney and urinary diseases, and evaluate their metrics and performance characteristics that could be useful for other systematic epidemiologic reviews. METHODS: We described the methodological framework and analysed approaches applied in the previously conducted systematic review intended to obtain published data for global estimates of the kidney and urinary disease burden...
October 19, 2018: BMC Medical Research Methodology
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