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||O'Connor, S. R., Tully, M. A., Ryan, B., Bradley, J. M., Baxter, G. D., & McDonough, S. M. (2015). Failure of a numerical quality assessment scale to identify potential risk of bias in a systematic review: a comparison study. BMC Research Notes, 8, 224-015-1181-1. doi:10.1186/s13104-015-1181-1
||Quality assessment, Risk of bias, Systematic review methods
||Compares assessments of the methodological quality of primary studies (20 randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials examining an exercise intervention for chronic musculoskeletal pain) using a domain-based system, that of the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF)] vs. that of the Downs and Black (D&B) numerical rating scale. Finds substantial levels of inter-rater reliability agreement for the USPSTF system and the Downs and Black scale. The overall level of agreement between the tools was also good. However, the USPSTF system identified 3 of 20 studies as "poor" due to potential risks of bias, which indeed had greater pooled effect sizes than the studies rated "fair" or "good". Concludes that the D&B fails to identify studies at increased risk of bias, and can lead to imprecise estimates of treatment effect.
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|Link to Full Text:||https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=26048813|