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UB report questions headache studies

Only a quarter of publications reporting on headache studies were registered in an approved clinical trial registry despite a 2005 decision by major journals that they would only consider results of clinical trials that had been registered, according to University at Buffalo research.

The goal of the publication guideline was to reduce selective reporting of clinical trials, where researchers publish results that are outside the scope of the study’s original design and cannot be considered scientifically accurate.

“Our study suggests that selective reporting remains a problem in the headache medicine literature and should bring into question the quality of similar reporting in other disciplines throughout the medical literature,” said Dr. Melissa Rayhill, lead author and an assistant professor of neurology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The study in the journal Neurology examined every trial published between 2005 and 2014 in the top headache medicine journals. In only 26 percent of them, a trial registration number was reported that could be linked to a corresponding registry, such as clinicaltrials.gov.