Volume 28 Issue 9
Nov.  2019
Turn off MathJax
Article Contents

Pentti Nieminen, Khaled Abass, Kirsi Vhkanga, Arja Rautio. Statistically Non-significant Papers in Environmental Health Studies included more Outcome Variables[J]. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, 2015, 28(9): 666-673. doi: 10.3967/bes2015.093
Citation: Pentti Nieminen, Khaled Abass, Kirsi Vhkanga, Arja Rautio. Statistically Non-significant Papers in Environmental Health Studies included more Outcome Variables[J]. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, 2015, 28(9): 666-673. doi: 10.3967/bes2015.093

Statistically Non-significant Papers in Environmental Health Studies included more Outcome Variables

doi: 10.3967/bes2015.093
Funds:  The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013- Environment (including Climate Change) FP7-ENV-2008-1-under grant agreement number 226534-ArcRisk
  • Objective The number of analyzed outcome variables is important in the statistical analysis and interpretation of research findings. This study investigated published papers in the field of environmental health studies. We aimed to examine whether differences in the number of reported outcome variables exist between papers with non-significant findings compared to those with significant findings. Articles on the maternal exposure to mercury and child development were used as examples.
    Methods Articles published between 1995 and 2013 focusing on the relationships between maternal exposure to mercury and child development were collected from Medline and Scopus.
    Results Of 87 extracted papers, 73 used statistical significance testing and 38 (43.7%) of these reported ‘non-significant’ (P>0.05) findings. The median number of child development outcome variables in papers reporting ‘significant’ (n=35) and ‘non-significant’ (n=38) results was 4 versus 7, respectively (Mann-Whitney test P-value=0.014). An elevated number of outcome variables was especially found in papers reporting non-significant associations between maternal mercury and outcomes when mercury was the only analyzed exposure variable.
    Conclusion Authors often report analyzed health outcome variables based on their P-values rather than on stated primary research questions. Such a practice probably skews the research evidence.
  • 加载中
  • 加载中
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
  • 1. 

    沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

  1. 本站搜索
  2. 百度学术搜索
  3. 万方数据库搜索
  4. CNKI搜索

Article Metrics

Article views(553) PDF downloads(19) Cited by()

Proportional views
Related

Statistically Non-significant Papers in Environmental Health Studies included more Outcome Variables

doi: 10.3967/bes2015.093
Funds:  The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013- Environment (including Climate Change) FP7-ENV-2008-1-under grant agreement number 226534-ArcRisk

Abstract: Objective The number of analyzed outcome variables is important in the statistical analysis and interpretation of research findings. This study investigated published papers in the field of environmental health studies. We aimed to examine whether differences in the number of reported outcome variables exist between papers with non-significant findings compared to those with significant findings. Articles on the maternal exposure to mercury and child development were used as examples.
Methods Articles published between 1995 and 2013 focusing on the relationships between maternal exposure to mercury and child development were collected from Medline and Scopus.
Results Of 87 extracted papers, 73 used statistical significance testing and 38 (43.7%) of these reported ‘non-significant’ (P>0.05) findings. The median number of child development outcome variables in papers reporting ‘significant’ (n=35) and ‘non-significant’ (n=38) results was 4 versus 7, respectively (Mann-Whitney test P-value=0.014). An elevated number of outcome variables was especially found in papers reporting non-significant associations between maternal mercury and outcomes when mercury was the only analyzed exposure variable.
Conclusion Authors often report analyzed health outcome variables based on their P-values rather than on stated primary research questions. Such a practice probably skews the research evidence.

Pentti Nieminen, Khaled Abass, Kirsi Vhkanga, Arja Rautio. Statistically Non-significant Papers in Environmental Health Studies included more Outcome Variables[J]. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, 2015, 28(9): 666-673. doi: 10.3967/bes2015.093
Citation: Pentti Nieminen, Khaled Abass, Kirsi Vhkanga, Arja Rautio. Statistically Non-significant Papers in Environmental Health Studies included more Outcome Variables[J]. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, 2015, 28(9): 666-673. doi: 10.3967/bes2015.093

Catalog

    /

    DownLoad:  Full-Size Img  PowerPoint
    Return
    Return