Korean J Pain.  2010 Mar;23(1):35-41.

Analysis of Statistical Methods and Errors in the Articles Published in the Korean Journal of Pain

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea. hiitsme@hanmail.net
  • 2Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Statistical analysis is essential in regard to obtaining objective reliability for medical research. However, medical researchers do not have enough statistical knowledge to properly analyze their study data. To help understand and potentially alleviate this problem, we have analyzed the statistical methods and errors of articles published in the Korean Journal of Pain (KJP), with the intention to improve the statistical quality of the journal.
METHODS
All the articles, except case reports and editorials, published from 2004 to 2008 in the KJP were reviewed. The types of applied statistical methods and errors in the articles were evaluated.
RESULTS
One hundred and thirty-nine original articles were reviewed. Inferential statistics and descriptive statistics were used in 119 papers and 20 papers, respectively. Only 20.9% of the papers were free from statistical errors. The most commonly adopted statistical method was the t-test (21.0%) followed by the chi-square test (15.9%). Errors of omission were encountered 101 times in 70 papers. Among the errors of omission, "no statistics used even though statistical methods were required" was the most common (40.6%). The errors of commission were encountered 165 times in 86 papers, among which "parametric inference for nonparametric data" was the most common (33.9%).
CONCLUSION
We found various types of statistical errors in the articles published in the KJP. This suggests that meticulous attention should be given not only in the applying statistical procedures but also in the reviewing process to improve the value of the article.

Keyword

data interpretation; statistical analysis; statistics

MeSH Terms

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