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Trends in Level of Evidence in Facial Plastic Surgery Research

Xu, Caroline C. M.D.; Côté, David W. J. M.D., M.P.H.; Chowdhury, Raiyan H. M.D.; Morrissey, Andrew T. M.D.; Ansari, Khalid M.D.

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: April 2011 - Volume 127 - Issue 4 - pp 1499-1504
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318208d2c8
Reconstructive: Head and Neck: Original Articles

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.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

From the Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Alberta.

Received for publication August 5, 2010; accepted September 27, 2010.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Caroline C. Xu, M.D., Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Alberta, 1E4 Walter McKenzie Centre, 8440-112 Street N.W., Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2B7, Canada, caroline.xu@ualberta.ca

©2011American Society of Plastic Surgeons