E. Ernst, MD; K.L. Resch, MD; E.M. Uher, MD
To the Editors: Several forms of publication bias distort the medical literature (1). To test the hypothesis that "reviewer bias" exists, a MEDLINE search of publications on transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) between 1983 and 1990 was carried out to identify investigators who had reported original data on this subject. Thirty-three investigators whose data were either clearly for or against the clinical effectiveness of TENS were selected. Investigators whose studies produced inconclusive results were excluded. The selected investigators were sent a fictitious "research paper" on TENS. It deliberately included strong points and flaws but reported a "positive" result. The manuscript
Ernst E, Resch K, Uher E. Reviewer Bias. Ann Intern Med. 1992;116:958. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-116-11-958_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1992;116(11):958.
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