Essential reading for statistics and EBM

The CICM Second Part Exam inevitably contains a 10-mark statistics/EBM question, and these have historically consisted mostly of definitions or interpretations of concepts in clinical trial design or reporting. Occasionally, the candidates are asked to define basic health science statistics concepts (sensitivity, specificity, that sort of thing), but this is slowly disappearing as the examiners recognise that there is little value in testing the ability to regurgitate memorised equations. More recently, the trend has been towards greater sophistication - asking candidates to explain the advantages and limitations of platform trials, for one example. The possible range of questions is vast but finite, and one can imagine that in a fair world the questions would be picked from among common or essential subjects, of the sort that might enjoy a lot of attention in the scientific press. It is therefore conceivable that all the possible answers to all the possible statistics/EBM SAQs are available somewhere in published literature. The purpose of this section is therefore to bring this literature together and to arm the candidates against the unexpected.

JAMA's User's Guide to the Medical Literature is definitely worth reading, or at least skimming. JAMA makes you pay for most of them but many people have reproduced this as a part of their blog or online course content, making full PDFs easy to find.

CASP (Critical Appraisal Skills Program) has checklists for the appraisal of many different sorts of studies; these actually come with tickboxes. One imagines reviewers wandering around a trial headquarters, ticking these boxes on their little clipboards. The full list is here (the links go to a PDF version):

Deutsches Ärzteblatt International has an excellent "Series on Evaluation of Scientific Publications" which is unfortunately not compiled anywhere as a list of links, so they had to be compiled here:

ERIC notebook - and old periodical from the Epidemiologic Research and Information Center (ERIC) at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Durham, NC.

References

Du Prel, Jean-Baptist, Bernd Röhrig, and Maria Blettner. "Critical appraisal of scientific articles: part 1 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Arzteblatt International 106.7 (2009): 100.

Röhrig, Bernd, Jean-Baptist du Prel, and Maria Blettner. "Study design in medical research: part 2 of a series on the evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 106.11 (2009): 184.

Röhrig, Bernd, et al. "Types of study in medical research: part 3 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Arzteblatt International 106.15 (2009): 262.

Du Prel, Jean-Baptist, et al. "Confidence interval or p-value?: part 4 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 106.19

Bautsch, Wilfried. "Requirements and assessment of laboratory tests: Part 5 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 106.24 (2009): 403.

Ressing, Meike, Maria Blettner, and Stefanie J. Klug. "Systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses: part 6 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches ärzteblatt international 106.27 (2009): 456.2009): 335.

Spriestersbach, Albert, et al. "Descriptive statistics: the specification of statistical measures and their presentation in tables and graphs. Part 7 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 106.36 (2009): 578.

Hammer, Gaël P., Jean-Baptist du Prel, and Maria Blettner. "Avoiding bias in observational studies: part 8 in a series of articles on evaluation of scientific publications.Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 106.41 (2009): 664.

Sauerbrei, Wilhelm, and Maria Blettner. "Interpreting results in 2× 2 tables: part 9 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 106.48 (2009): 795.

Victor, Anja, et al. "Judging a plethora of p-values: how to contend with the problem of multiple testing-part 10 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications.Deutsches Arzteblatt International 107.4 (2010): 50.

Ressing, Meike, Maria Blettner, and Stefanie J. Klug. "Data analysis of epidemiological studies: part 11 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Arzteblatt International 107.11 (2010): 187.

Du Prel, Jean-Baptist, et al. "Choosing statistical tests: part 12 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 107.19 (2010): 343.

Röhrig, Bernd, et al. "Sample size calculation in clinical trials: part 13 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications.Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 107.31-32 (2010): 552.

Schneider, Astrid, Gerhard Hommel, and Maria Blettner. "Linear regression analysis: part 14 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 107.44 (2010): 776.

Zwiener, Isabella, Maria Blettner, and Gerhard Hommel. "Survival analysis: part 15 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 108.10 (2011): 163.

Kwiecien, Robert, Annette Kopp-Schneider, and Maria Blettner. "Concordance analysis: part 16 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 108.30 (2011): 515.

Kabisch, Maria, et al. "Randomized controlled trials: part 17 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 108.39 (2011): 663.

Wellek, Stefan, and Maria Blettner. "On the proper use of the crossover design in clinical trials: part 18 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 109.15 (2012): 276.

Spix, Claudia, and Maria Blettner. "Screening: part 19 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 109.21 (2012): 385.

Wellek, Stefan, and Maria Blettner. "Establishing equivalence or non-inferiority in clinical trials: part 20 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 109.41 (2012): 674.

Binder, Harald, and Maria Blettner. "Big data in medical science—a biostatistical view: Part 21 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 112.9 (2015): 137.

Kiefer, Corinna, Sibylle Sturtz, and Ralf Bender. "Indirect comparisons and network meta-analyses: estimation of effects in the absence of head-to-head trials—part 22 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 112.47 (2015): 803.

Kuss, Oliver, Maria Blettner, and Jochen Börgermann. "Propensity score: an alternative method of analyzing Treatment Effects: Part 23 of a series on evaluation of scientific Publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 113.35-36 (2016): 597.

Lange, Stefan, et al. "The range and scientific value of randomized trials: Part 24 of a Series on Evaluation of Scientific Publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 114.38 (2017): 635.

Lorenz, Eva, et al. "Cluster-randomized studies: part 25 of a series on evaluating scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 115.10 (2018): 163.

Wellek, Stefan, et al. "Planning and analysis of trials using a stepped wedge design: Part 26 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 116.26 (2019): 453.

Gianicolo, Emilio AL, et al. "Methods for evaluating causality in observational studies: Part 27 of a series on evaluation of scientific publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 117

Hoyer, Annika, and Antonia Zapf. "Studies for the Evaluation of Diagnostic Tests: Part 28 of a Series on Evaluation of Scientific Publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 118.33-34 (2021): 555..7 (2020): 101.

Pohl, Moritz, et al. "Estimands—A Basic Element for Clinical Trials: Part 29 of a Series on Evaluation of Scientific Publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 118.51-52 (2021): 883.

Tönnies, Thaddäus, Sabine Kahl, and Oliver Kuss. "Collider Bias in Observational Studies: Consequences for Medical Research Part 30 of a Series on Evaluation of Scientific Publications." Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 119.7 (2022): 107.

Tönnies, Thaddäus, et al. "Mediation Analysis in Medical Research-Part 31 of a Series on Evaluation of Scientific Publications." Deutsches Arzteblatt International Forthcoming (2023): arztebl-m2023.

Guyatt, Gordon H., and Drummond Rennie. "Users' guides to the medical literature." Jama 270.17 (1993): 2096-2097.

Oxman, Andrew D., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: I. How to get started." Jama 270.17 (1993): 2093-2095.

Guyatt, Gordon H., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: II. How to use an article about therapy or prevention A. Are the results of the study valid?." Jama 270.21 (1993): 2598-2601.
Guyatt, Gordon H., et al. "Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: II. How to Use an Article About Therapy or Prevention B. What Were the Results and Will They Help Me in Caring for My Patients?.Jama 271.1 (1994): 59-63.
Levine, Mitchell, et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: IV. How to use an article about harm." Jama 271.20 (1994): 1615-1619.

Laupacis, Andreas, et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: V. How to use an article about prognosis." Jama 272.3 (1994): 234-237.
Oxman, Andrew D., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: VI. How to use an overview." Jama 272.17 (1994): 1367-1371.
Richardson, W. Scott, and Allan S. Detsky. "Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: VII. How to Use a Clinical Decision Analysis A. Are the Results of the Study Valid?." Jama 273.16 (1995): 1292-1295.

Richardson, W. Scott, et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: VII. How to use a clinical decision analysis B. What are the results and will they help me in caring for my patients?." Jama 273.20 (1995): 1610-1613.
Hayward, Robert SA, et al. "Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: VIII. How to Use Clinical Practice Guidelines A. Are the Recommendations Valid?." Jama 274.7 (1995): 570-574.

Wilson, Mark C., et al. "Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: VIII. How to Use Clinical Practice Guidelines B. What Are the Recommendations and Will They Help You in Caring for Your Patients?.Jama 274.20 (1995): 1630-1632.

Woodruff, Tracey J., Patrice Sutton, and Navigation Guide Work Group. "An evidence-based medicine methodology to bridge the gap between clinical and environmental health sciences." Health affairs 30.5 (2011): 931-937.
Guyatt, Gordon H., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: IX. A method for grading health care recommendations." Jama 274.22 (1995): 1800-1804.
Goldet, Gabrielle, and Jeremy Howick. "Understanding GRADE: an introduction.Journal of Evidence‐Based Medicine 6.1 (2013): 50-54.



Naylor, C. David, et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: X. How to use an article reporting variations in the outcomes of health services.Jama 275.7 (1996): 554-558.

Naylor, C. David, et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XI. How to use an article about a clinical utilization review." Jama 275.18 (1996): 1435-1439.

Guyatt, Gordon H., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XII. How to use articles about health-related quality of life." Jama 277.15 (1997): 1232-1237.

BJ, Bernie JO'Brien, et al. "How to use an article on economic analysis of clinical practice. A. Are the results of the study valid?JAMA (1997): 1552-7.

O'Brien BJ, Heyland D, Richardson WS, Levine M, Drummond MF. "Users' guides to the medical literature. XIII. How to use an article on economic analysis of clinical practice. B. What are the results and will they help me in caring for my patients? Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group". JAMA. 1997;277:1802-1806.
Dans, Antonio L., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XIV. How to decide on the applicability of clinical trial results to your patient.Jama 279.7 (1998): 545-549.

Richardson, W. Scott, et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XV. How to use an article about disease probability for differential diagnosis." Jama 281.13 (1999): 1214-1219.

Guyatt, Gordon H., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XVI. How to use a treatment recommendation." Jama 281.19 (1999): 1836-1843.


Barratt, Alexandra, et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XVII. How to use guidelines and recommendations about screening." Jama 281.21 (1999): 2029-2034.
Randolph, Adrienne G., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XVIII. How to use an article evaluating the clinical impact of a computer-based clinical decision support system." Jama 282.1 (1999): 67-74.

Bucher, H. C., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XIX. Applying clinical trial results. A. How to use an article measuring the effect of an intervention on surrogate end pointsJAMA 282 (1999): 771-8.


McAlister, Finlay A., et al. "Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: XIX. Applying Clinical Trial ResultsB. Guidelines for Determining Whether a Drug Is Exerting (More Than) a Class Effect." Jama 282.14 (1999): 1371-1377.

McAlister, Finlay A., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XX. Integrating research evidence with the care of the individual patient." Jama 283.21 (2000): 2829-2836.
Hunt, Dereck L., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XXI. Using electronic health information resources in evidence-based practice." Jama 283.14 (2000): 1875-1879.

Hunt, Dereck L., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XXI. Using electronic health information resources in evidence-based practice.Jama 283.14 (2000): 1875-1879.
McGinn, Thomas G., et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XXII: how to use articles about clinical decision rules." Jama 284.1 (2000): 79-84.
Giacomini, Mita K., and Deborah J. Cook. "Qualitative research in health care A. Are the results of the study valid? Journal of the American Medical Association 284.3 (2000): 357-362.

Giacomin, M. K., and D. J. Cook. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XXIII. Qualitative research in health care B. What are the results and how do they help me care for my patients?JAMA 284 (2000): 478-482.
Richardson, W. Scott, et al. "Users' guides to the medical literature: XXIV. How to use an article on the clinical manifestations of disease." JAMA 284.7 (2000): 869-875.

Guyatt, Gordon H., et al. "Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: XXV. Evidence-based medicine: principles for applying the Users' Guides to patient care.Journal of the American Medical Association 284.1290 (2000): R9.

Attia, John, et al. "How to use an article about genetic association: A: Background concepts." Jama 301.1 (2009): 74-81.

Attia, John, et al. "How to use an article about genetic association: B: Are the results of the study valid?." Jama 301.2 (2009): 191-197.

Attia, John, et al. "How to use an article about genetic association: C: What are the results and will they help me in caring for my patients?." Jama 301.3 (2009): 304-308.

Fan, Eddy, et al. "How to use an article about quality improvement.JAMA 304.20 (2010): 2279-2287.