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AAO-HNSF: ENT Journals Under-Report Harmful Events

Nearly one-third of studies fail to mention any adverse or harmful events

THURSDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Studies published in leading otolaryngology medical journals are likely to under-report or poorly describe adverse or harmful events, according to research presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO held Sept. 21 to 24 in Chicago.

Haidy A. Bibawy, M.D., of the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and colleagues reviewed 1,835 articles published in 1996 and 2006 in four journals.

The researchers found that only 576 (31 percent) of the articles provided therapeutic recommendations. Although 65 percent of the articles mentioned harm or adverse events, only 47 percent specifically described the events, and only 24 percent adequately defined the methodology for collecting harm data, according to the authors.

"Studies concluding a beneficial effect of therapy were more likely to not mention adverse events (odds ratio 2.99), compared to studies concluding no benefit," the authors write. "Studies of surgical therapy were more likely to report harm or adverse events (OR, 1.46) than medical therapy."

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