The level of evidence keeps improving: An updated analysis of the scientific program at the Canadian Association of Paediatric Surgeons Annual Meeting
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INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study is to examine the scientific program of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons (CAPS) to determine if the quality of research has improved. METHODS: CAPS abstracts from 2010 to 2013 were reviewed by two independent researchers. Presentation type, study design, and level of evidence (LOE) were recorded. All differences were adjudicated by an epidemiologist. Fisher's exact test compared results to a previous study that assessed LOE in CAPS abstracts from 2005 to 2009. RESULTS: 291 abstracts were reviewed with 53 excluded and 238 included in final analysis. Reviewers demonstrated high agreement for study design (ICC=0.767 95%CI 0.715-0.810) and LOE (ICC=0.914 95%CI 0.892-0.931). Out of 238 studies, 117 (49%) were podium and 122 (51%) posters. Number of high-quality studies increased in 2010-2013 versus 2005-2009 (n=253), specifically systematic reviews (n=15 (6%) vs. n=3 (1%) p<0.01), randomized controlled trials (n=4 (2%) vs. n=0 (0%), p=0.05), and prospective cohort studies (n=41 (17%) vs. n=26 (10%), p<0.001). Retrospective cohort is still the most common. However, the number of studies has significantly decreased (n=121 (51%) vs. n=171 (68%), p<0.001). The proportion of high-level studies (LOE 2 or better) also improved (48 (20%) vs. 24 (10%) p<0.001). CONCLUSION: The quality of research presented at CAPS has greatly improved, especially in the past five years.
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