To the Editor.—I write to applaud the work by Salzman and coworkers,1 and to emphasize three important aspects of their report.
First, the authors correctly delineate the power of this, a negative study, and exercise appropriate caution to the reader in interpretation of the results. Would that more investigators were cognizant of this problem.
Second, the report illustrates the difficulty with retrospective research. If all 169 parents had been interviewed about cigarette smoking at the time of admission to the hospital, the study size would have tripled and the research question might have been answered definitively. Although this project was completed as part of a medical student clerkship requirement, the nature of the study and the time constraints that operate are not unlike those of our residents who are seeking "do-able" projects for their limited research time. It behooves us to establish the wherewithal for our residents to
GATES GA. Passive Smoking and Croup. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(11):1239. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860110105022
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