A recent study comparing low back pain systematic review abstracts to their full text was published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Looking at 66 systematic reviews researchers found that 80% of abstracts presented spin and inconsistencies when compared to their full text. Nine of the systematic reviews investigated were Cochrane Reviews and it was found that "Cochrane review abstracts had substantial to almost perfect agreement with the full text."
Back pain systematic reviews are overseen by Cochrane Back and Neck (CBN). CBN coordinates the publication of literature reviews of diagnosis, primary and secondary prevention and treatment of neck and back pain and other spinal disorders, excluding inflammatory diseases and fractures. CBN Co-ordinating editor, Andrea Furlan, commented on these findings saying, 'We make a point of ensuring that the abstract accurately reflects the results of the review so we’re not surprised to see that our reviews are consistently doing that.'
- Visit the Cochrane Back and Neck website
- Read Cochrane evidence on low back pain
- Read 'Eight Out of Every Ten Abstracts of Low Back Pain Systematic Reviews Presented Spin and Inconsistencies With the Full Text: An Analysis of 66 Systematic Review'