Background: Evidence-based medicine has increasingly become an integral part of clinical research and practice. The purpose of this study was to assess the trends in the level of evidence in leading facial plastic surgery journals in recent years.
Methods: All scientific articles within the field of facial plastic surgery published in The Laryngoscope, Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Journal of Plastic Surgery, and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2008 were rated for level of evidence. The presence of p values and confidence intervals was also noted.
Results: Of 975 articles reviewed, 88 percent were clinical and 88 percent were therapy articles. Overall, there was an increase in the average level of evidence of articles published from 1999 to 2008. There was also a significant increase in the proportion of articles reporting p values and confidence intervals. However, the number of articles containing level 1 or 2 evidence remains low.
Conclusions: With the increased demand for evidence-based medicine, facial plastic surgery literature has seen an overall increase in the quantity of higher level evidence research published. However, articles representing level 1 and 2 evidence remain rare.