Skip navigation

Quality scoring

 

If studies are not done properly, any results they produce will be worthless. We call this validity. What constitutes a valid study depends on many factors; there are no absolute hard and fast rules that can cover every clinical eventuality. Validity has a dictionary definition of sound and defensible.

But the quality of study conduct and reporting is also important, because incorrect conduct can introduce bias. Bias has a dictionary definition of a one-sided inclination of the mind, and studies with bias may be wrong even if the study is valid.

An essay looks at some of the issues of quality and validity in clinical trials, in meta-analysis, and in epidemiology. It will be in the nature of an overview, because some aspects would require a more detailed examination. The essay will also look at several checklists that can help us examine quality and validity issues in papers we read and want to critically appraise.

Bandolier Extra on Quality scoring .