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Identifying and Avoiding Bias in Research

Pannucci, Christopher J. M.D., M.S.; Wilkins, Edwin G. M.D., M.S.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: August 2010 - Volume 126 - Issue 2 - p 619-625
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181de24bc

Summary: This narrative review provides an overview on the topic of bias as part of a series of articles in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery on evidence-based medicine. Bias can occur in the planning, data collection, analysis, and publication phases of research. Understanding research bias allows readers to critically and independently review the scientific literature and avoid treatments that are suboptimal or potentially harmful. A thorough understanding of bias and how it affects study results is essential for the practice of evidence-based medicine.

Ann Arbor, Mich.

From the Section of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan.

Received for publication November 6, 2009; accepted December 22, 2009.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article. Dr. Pannucci receives salary support from the National Institutes of Health T32 grant program (T32 GM-08616).

Christopher J. Pannucci, M.D., M.S., Section of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, 2130 Taubman Center, Box 0340, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48109,

©2010American Society of Plastic Surgeons