Child versus adult research: the gap in high-quality study design.
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to determine whether there were differences in study design and purpose between published child- and adult-focused clinical research.
We reviewed all articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Archives of Internal Medicine, and Archives of Adolescent and Pediatric Medicine during the first 3 months of 2005 and assessed each study's design and purpose. We compared articles focused on adults with those focused on children.
We included 370 original research reports in our analysis (New England Journal of Medicine, n = 46; Journal of the American Medical Association, n = 60; Annals of Internal Medicine, n = 27; Pediatrics, n = 130; Archives of Internal Medicine, n = 73; Archives of Adolescent and Pediatric Medicine, n = 34), of which 189 included only adults as subjects and 181 only children. Among adult studies, compared with child studies, there were more randomized, controlled trials (23.8% vs 8.8%) and systematic reviews (10.6% vs 1.7%) and fewer cross sectional studies (16.9% vs 40.9%). Study purposes also varied, with studies of therapies constituting 38.1% of adult studies, compared with 17.7% of child studies. In contrast, epidemiological studies, defined as studies describing the prevalence or incidence of diseases or risk factors or showing associations between risk factors and diseases, constituted 6.4% of adult studies, compared with 26.5% of child studies.
In 6 leading generalist and specialist journals, studies involving adults were significantly more likely than child studies to be randomized, controlled trials, systematic reviews, or studies of therapies. If such studies are to be viewed as the highest possible quality of evidence, then this difference has implications for quality of care for children and for funding and future directions in clinical research involving children.
- Archivos argentinos de pediatría 12/2013; 111(6):466-467. · 0.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine whether randomized controlled trials of pharmacologic interventions in children are more likely to be biased than similar trials in adults. Trials involving only children and published in MEDLINE between January 2008 and October 2009 (n = 100) were randomly selected and matched, by drug class and therapeutic area, with a similar trial completed in adults. The Cochrane risk of bias tool was used to compare the pediatric and adult trials. The characteristics of adult and pediatric trials included were similar, except that adult studies were more likely to be conducted in Europe and published in specialty journals. Two-thirds of all trials were single center, and 62% had 100 or fewer participants. Many trials had an unclear risk of bias for allocation concealment (65% adult, 52% pediatric). More pediatric trials had a low risk of bias for random sequence generation (59% pediatric, 41% adult, P = .002) and blinding of outcome assessment (63% pediatric, 48% adult, P = .04) than adult trials; however, a sensitivity analysis of trials published since 2008 (and so matched by year of publication) did not confirm this finding, suggesting year of publication was an important confounder. When randomized controlled trials are matched for drug class and therapeutic area, trials involving children display a similar risk of bias. Differences in the risk of bias between pediatric and adult trials are not caused by differences in the capacity of researchers to conduct and report trials of high quality.The Journal of pediatrics 05/2014; · 4.02 Impact Factor
- Revista Costarricense de Salud Pública. 06/2012; 21(1):31-36.