Evaluation of spin in the abstracts of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of atopic dermatitis treatments and interventions

Vanessa Lin, Raahi Patel, Alexis Wirtz, Deepika Mannem, Ryan Ottwell, Wade Arthur, Courtney Cook, Hannah Howard, Drew Wright, Micah Hartwell, Matt Vassar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Spin - the misrepresentation of a study's results - has been identified in abstracts of studies focused on a variety of disorders from multiple fields of medicine. Objectives: This study's primary objective was to evaluate the abstracts of systematic reviews and meta-analyses focused on the treatment of atopic dermatitis for the nine most severe forms of spin. Methods: We systematically searched Embase and MEDLINE for systematic reviews of atopic dermatitis therapies. Screening and data extraction occurred in a masked, duplicate fashion. Each included study was evaluated for the nine most severe types of spin and other study characteristics. Results: Our searches retrieved 2,456 studies, of which 113 were included for data extraction. Spin was found in 74.3% of our included studies (84/113). Spin type 6 occurred most frequently (68/113, 60.2%). Spin types 1, 2, and 9 were not identified. All industry-funded systematic reviews contained spin in their abstract. The presence of spin was not associated with any specific study characteristics, including the methodological quality of the study. Conclusions: Severe forms of spin were found in the majority of abstracts for systematic reviews of atopic dermatitis treatments. Steps should be taken to prevent spin to improve the quality of reporting in abstracts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-505
Number of pages10
JournalDermatology
Volume237
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Spin
  • Treatment

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