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Accid Anal Prev. 2011 May;43(3):1245-51. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.01.007. Epub 2011 Feb 12.

Publication bias and time-trend bias in meta-analysis of bicycle helmet efficacy: a re-analysis of Attewell, Glase and McFadden, 2001.

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  • 1Institute of Transport Economics, Gaustadalléen 21, NO-0349 Oslo, Norway. re@toi.no

Abstract

This paper shows that the meta-analysis of bicycle helmet efficacy reported by Attewell, Glase, and McFadden (Accident Analysis and Prevention 2001, 345-352) was influenced by publication bias and time-trend bias that was not controlled for. As a result, the analysis reported inflated estimates of the effects of bicycle helmets. This paper presents a re-analysis of the study. The re-analysis included: (1) detecting and adjusting for publication bias by means of the trim-and-fill method; (2) ensuring the inclusion of all published studies by means of continuity corrections of estimates of effect rely on zero counts; (3) detecting and trying to account for a time-trend bias in estimates of the effects of bicycle helmets; (4) updating the study by including recently published studies evaluating the effects of bicycle helmets. The re-analysis shows smaller safety benefits associated with the use of bicycle helmets than the original study.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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PMID:
21376924
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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