Levels of evidence of articles published in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine journals
Matteo Paci, Gennaro Briganti, Bruna Lombardi
Objective: The aim of this study was to quantify and assess the levels of evidence of research and review articles published in professional Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine journals with international circulations.
Design: Quantitative analysis of articles published in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine journals.
Methods: Selected articles from 7 Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine journals, published over a period of 6 years, were classified according to their level of evidence. Differences in the mean number of each type of article among journals and among years were analysed.
Results: A total of 5,451 articles were included in this study, of which 636 (11.7%) were randomized controlled trials. Articles published with the highest frequency were those classified as Level III (n=2,424, 44.5%), whereas "systematic reviews" were the least frequent (n=164, 3.0%). Heterogeneity was found only in terms of distribution over journals.
Conclusion: The distribution of different types of article in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine journals is similar to that in other disciplines. No increase in articles with a high level of evidence was found in the selected journals over the period of study
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