gms | German Medical Science

62. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e. V. (GMDS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie

17.09. - 21.09.2017, Oldenburg

Complete, transparent and unbiased reporting as a requisite in research in the health sciences

Meeting Abstract

  • Willi Sauerbrei - Institut für Medizinische Biometrie und Informatik, Universitätsklinikum Freiburg, Freiburg, Deutschland
  • Peggy Sekula - Universitätsklinikum Freiburg, Freiburg, Deutschland
  • Elske Ammenwerth - UMIT - Private Universität für Gesundheitswissenschaften, Med. Informatik und Technik Tirol, Hall in Tirol, Österreich
  • Anette Blümle - Universitätsklinikum Freiburg, Freiburg, Deutschland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie. 62. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e.V. (GMDS). Oldenburg, 17.-21.09.2017. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2017. DocAbstr. 140

doi: 10.3205/17gmds090, urn:nbn:de:0183-17gmds0906

Veröffentlicht: 29. August 2017

© 2017 Sauerbrei et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



For many years the quality of research in the health sciences has been heavily criticized. It is argued that serious improvement would be possible if biomedical research were better chosen, designed, executed, analyzed, regulated, managed, disseminated, and reported. Serious improvements are far from being simple for many of the issues mentioned, but suitable guidance documents have been developed to improve on the reporting of research. Severe weaknesses in this area are unnecessary and can be avoided. Concerning issues in reporting of health science the EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) network acts as an umbrella organization.

Unfortunately, many reviews of publications have clearly shown that the quality of reporting of studies is still bad. Problems seem to be less severe for RCTs than for observational studies. In the latter even basic items of the study population and relevant details of statistical analyses are often not provided. In general, there are plenty of conceivable approaches to statistically analyze data that both make sense from a substantive point of view and are defensible from a theoretical perspective. It is not uncommon that several approaches are conducted, the analysis with the ‘most satisfactory’ result is selected and published. Consequently, the published literature gives a seriously biased impression, causing severe harm for the results of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. An unbiased assessment of the importance of many factors relevant for decision making in areas like risk assessment, prognosis or treatment is often impossible.

In four talks (session 80 – 100 minutes) we will give a general impression about the seriousness of bad reporting and problems it causes for research in the health sciences and for the care of patients. Annette Blümle (German Cochrane Center) will give a brief overview of some reporting guidelines and will introduce the EQUATOR (Enhancingthe QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) network. Elske Ammenwerth (Innsbruck) will speak about weaknesses of reporting in health informatics (STARE-HI—Statement), Peggy Sekula (Freiburg) will provide evidence for poor reporting and its effect on data synthesis by discussing tumour marker prognostic studies. Finally, Willi Sauerbrei (Freiburg) will discuss insufficient and incomplete reporting of methods and results of statistical analyses. He will introduce the REMARK type statement as a potential way for improvement.

Slides will be in German or English and talks will be in German.