Dr Lise Gluud and colleagues from Denmark examined the association between impact factors and hepatobiliary randomized clinical trials.
The investigators performed a cohort study of 530 hepatobiliary randomized clinical trials.
The journal impact factor was extracted from Science Citation Index.
For each trial, the team extracted the sample size, quality of randomization and blinding methods, and statistical significance of the primary outcome measure.
The median sample size was 45 participants.
The investigators found that the allocation sequence generation was adequate in 52% of trials.
Allocation concealment was adequate in 34% trials.
The investigative team noted that the primary outcome measure was statistically significant in 71% trials.
|The primary outcome measure was statistically significant in 71% trials |
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
Nonparametric analyses for trend indicated that the impact factor was significantly associated with the sample size.
The proportion of trials with adequate allocation sequence generation or allocation concealment was also significantly associated with impact factors.
The investigators observed that the impact factor was not significantly associated with the study outcome.
Dr Gluud's team commented, “The present study supports the use of the impact factor as a rough quality indicator.”
“However, even trials in high impact journals may be small or may have inadequate quality.”
“Critical appraisal of individual trials is always necessary, irrespective of the place of publication.”