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We describe our experience of using a modified version of the Cochrane risk of bias (RoB) tool for randomised and non-randomised comparative studies.ObjectivesTo assess time to complete RoB assessmentTo assess inter-rater agreementTo explore the association between RoB and treatment effect sizeMethodsCochrane risk of bias assessment was performed on a sample of full text primary reports included in a systematic review comparing operative techniques for radical prostatectomy. Inter-rater agreement was assessed using the kappa statistic.ResultsTwenty-four studies were judged as high overall RoB, 13 were judged as low RoB and 11 were unclear. The weighted Kappa value was 0.35 indicating fair agreement. The median (range) time taken to rate each study was 30min (10-49). The effect estimate for all studies was 0.61 (95% credible interval (CrI) 0.46-0.83) and 0.73 (95% CrI 0.29-1.75) for low risk studies.ConclusionsAlthough the process was time consuming, using a modified version of the RoB tool proved useful for demonstrating conservative effect estimates. That we only achieved a fair agreement between reviewers demonstrates the urgent need for further validation to improve inter-rater agreement. We suggest additional RoB levels could improve inter-rater reliability. (c) 2013 Crown copyright.
Author(s): Robertson C, Ramsay C, Gurung T, Mowatt G, Pickard R, Sharma P, UK Robotic Laparoscopic Prostatect
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Research Synthesis Methods
Print publication date: 01/09/2014
Online publication date: 14/11/2013
ISSN (print): 1759-2879
ISSN (electronic): 1759-2887
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
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