Review Article| Volume 47, ISSUE 9, P1358-1364, September 2021

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Uncertainty Bounds in Clinical Trials Published in Endodontic Journals within the Last 5 Years: Are We Confident on What We Read?



      The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of reporting of confidence intervals (CIs) in clinical trials in endodontics and discover any further associations with a range of publication characteristics.


      The electronic contents of the 3 leading endodontic journals with the highest impact factors (International Endodontic Journal, Journal of Endodontics, and Australian Endodontic Journal) were assessed from January 2016 to December 2020. The number and proportion of clinical trials reporting CIs for the difference in effectiveness/safety of competing interventions for the outcome of interest were recorded. Associations with journal, year of publication, study design, use of analyses for more complex sets of data, and others were assessed. Univariable and multivariable logistic regressions were used to identify significant predictor variables. Yearly linear trend effects were also sought.


      A total of 141 reports of clinical trials were identified. The majority were published in the Journal of Endodontics (90/141, 63.8%) followed by the International Endodontic Journal (41/141, 29.1%). CI reporting was confirmed only for 29.1% of the sample of reports (41/141). There was strong evidence that reports of clinical trials including analyses of more complex sets of data presented 11.47 times higher odds for CI reporting (adjusted odds ratio = 11.47; 95% CI, 4.19–31.41; P < .001).


      The inclusion of uncertainty measures as represented by the reporting of CIs is suboptimal within endodontic clinical trial reports.

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