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March 15, 2000

Scoring the Quality of Clinical Trials

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(11):1421-1423. doi:10.1001/jama.283.11.1421

To the Editor: Dr Jüni and colleagues1 illustrated the problem of rating the quality of clinical trials with summary scores for study quality. We have 3 comments. First, in 1 of the 25 scales tested, the original authors refused to define a cut point for quality.2 This was ignored by Jüni et al, who depicted a point the original authors merely used for illustration of a graph as a cut point. Within the context of acupuncture in chronic pain, this graph showed the increasing proportion of negative study results as the quality score increased. The graph encouraged a flexible definition of cut points.

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