Subgroup Analysis vs. Data Dredging

Curtis L. Meinert

in An Insider’s Guide to Clinical Trials

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199742967
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897278 | DOI:
Subgroup Analysis vs. Data Dredging

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This chapter argues that the trouble with subgroup analyses is not in doing them, but rather in their interpretations. The fact that investigators do not report results of subgroup analyses does not mean that they were not done, as some would have you believe in regard to gender as a subgrouping variable. The belief that gender-by-treatment interactions are unrecognized because investigators do not look for them is usually false. Most journals have word and table limits. Authors are not likely to use their word and table budgets reporting subgroup analyses unless they think there is something to report. The best that can be expected is a sentence indicating that subgroup analyses were done for designated variables and that no differences were found.

Keywords: clinical trial; subgroups; research data; subgroup analysis; gender

Chapter.  2062 words. 

Subjects: Medical Statistics and Methodology

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