Powe et al should be commended for their excellent articles published in the February issue of the Archives analyzing the rigor of methods in studies of cataract surgery1 and synthesizing the findings using meta-analysis2 while introducing this valuable statistical technique to the larger ophthalmologic community.
Distressingly, the authors found that "the rigor of the reported methods in literature on outcomes of cataract surgery... has not shown an improvement between 1979and 1991."1 As physicians in general and ophthalmologists in particular, we ophthalmologists pride ourselves on the precision of "hard science" and on meticulous microsurgical technique. Just as we strive for eversmaller incisions, so should we advance toward better methodology in our research.
Finally, even in their studies on scientific rigor, Powe et al1 state that their data abstraction was masked to authors, institutions, and the journal of publication. This would be difficult because three of the four
Chynn EW. Rigor of Research Methods in Studies of the Effectiveness and Safety of Cataract Extraction With Intraocular Lens Implantation. Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(7):875. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090190017009