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Trials. 2007 Mar 6;8:9.

Application and investigation of a bound for outcome reporting bias.

Author information

1
Centre for Medical Statistics and Health Evaluation, Shelley's Cottage, Brownlow Street, University of Liverpool, L69 3GS, UK. prw@liv.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Direct empirical evidence for the existence of outcome reporting bias is accumulating and this source of bias is recognised as a potential threat to the validity of meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials.

METHODS:

A method for calculating the maximum bias in a meta-analysis due to publication bias is adapted for the setting where within-study selective non-reporting of outcomes is suspected, and compared to the alternative approach of missing data imputation. The properties of both methods are investigated in realistic small sample situations.

RESULTS:

The results suggest that the adapted Copas and Jackson approach is the preferred method for reviewers to apply as an initial assessment of robustness to within-study selective non-reporting.

CONCLUSION:

The Copas and Jackson approach is a useful method for systematic reviewers to apply to assess robustness to outcome reporting bias.

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