Levels of evidence: a comparison between top medical journals and general pediatric journals
- Additional Document Info
- View All
BACKGROUND: Given the large number of publications in all fields of practice, it is essential that clinicians focus on the resources that provide the highest level of evidence (LOE). We sought to determine the LOE that exists in the field of pediatrics, present in the general pediatric as well as high impact clinical literature. METHODS: Clinical pediatric literature, published between April 2011 and March 2012 inclusive in high-impact clinical journals (HICJ) (New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, & The Lancet) and the highest-impact general pediatric journals (GPJ) (Pediatrics, Journal of Pediatrics, & Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine), was assessed. In addition to the LOE, articles were evaluated on criteria including subspecialty within pediatrics, number of authors, number of centers, and other parameters. Eligible level I randomized control trials were appraised using the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines. RESULTS: Of 6511 articles screened, 804 met inclusion criteria (68 in HICJ and 736 in GPJ). On average, LOE in pediatrics-focused articles within The Lancet were significantly higher than all GPJ (p < 0.05). Average CONSORT scores were significantly higher in HICJ vs. GPJ (15.2 vs. 13.6, respectively, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: LOE and quality of randomized control trials within the pediatric field is highest within HICJ, however, only represent a small proportion of data published. Following CONSORT criteria, and promoting studies of high LOE may allow authors and readers to turn to journals and articles of greater clinical impact.
has subject area