European Spine Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 977–979 | Cite as

Generalizing the results: how can we improve our reports?

  • Mikhail Saltychev
  • Merja Eskola
Letter to the Editor

The most common goal of clinical research is to measure the probable effect of the intervention in clinical practice. Unfortunately, reports are often limited to describing only a studied sample and not an entire population itself. We were interested to investigate how well reports on high-end randomized controlled studies in the field of surgery present information regarding a population outside the studied sample.

The search on PubMed was conducted in January 2018 using the clause: “Eur Spine J”[Journal] AND ((Controlled Clinical Trial[ptyp] OR Randomized Controlled Trial[ptyp]) AND (“2017/01/01”[PDAT]: “3000/12/31”[PDAT])). The search resulted in nine randomized controlled trials published in European Spine Journal in 2017 [ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. The main outcome measures and statistics reported in the identified trials are shown in Table  1. Of the nine trials, only two employed 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) to describe the results obtained from ordinal or continuous...


Compliance with ethical standards


None to declare.

Conflict of interest

None of the authors has any potential conflict of interest.


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    Bono CM, Leonard DA, Cha TD, Schwab JH, Wood KB, Harris MB et al (2017) The effect of short (2-weeks) versus long (6-weeks) post-operative restrictions following lumbar discectomy: a prospective randomized control trial. Eur Spine J 26(3):905–912CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Fukui D, Kawakami M, Nakao SI, Miyamoto E, Morishita S, Matuoka T et al (2017) Reduced blood loss and operation time in lumbar posterolateral fusion using a bipolar sealer. Eur Spine J 26(3):726–732CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical and Rehabilitation MedicineTurku University Hospital and University of TurkuTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Expert ServicesTurku University Hospital and University of TurkuTurkuFinland

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