The authors of this study (1) wished to find out if any progress had been made in the last decade regarding the use of statistical methods in Chinese medical research. They reviewed 10 leading medical peer-reviewed Chinese journals published in 1998 and 2008.

The sample consisted of the Chinese Journal of Internal Medicine, the Chinese Journal of Surgery, the Chinese Journal of Pediatrics, the Chinese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Chinese Journal of Ophtalmology, the Chinese Journal of Hematology, the Chinese Journal of Stomatology, the Chinese Journal of Cardiology, the Chinese Journal of Oncology, the Chinese Journal of Tubercolosis and Respiratory Diseases. Altogether 1335 articles from 1998 were reviewed and 1575 from 2008.

Many mistakes were found in randomized clinical trials (56% in 1998 and 68% in 2008), non-randomized clinical trials (57% in 1998 and 59% in 2008), basic science studies (73% in 1998 and 66% in 2008), case, or case series, studies (48% in 1998 and 47% in 2008) and cross-sectional studies (57% in 1998 and 44% in 2008).

The authors conclude that progress has been made, but much remains to be done.

Reference

1. Wu S, Wei X, Gao Q, Lu J Ma X, Wu C, He Q, Wu M, Wang R, Xu J, He j. Misuse of statistical methods in 10 leading Chinese medical journals in 1998 and 2008. Sci World J 2011;11:2106-2114.