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SYSTEMATIC REVIEW Table of Contents   
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 427-434
Review of research designs and statistical methods employed in dental postgraduate dissertations

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Maratha Mandal's Nathajirao G Halgekar Institute of Dental Sciences and Research center, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Dr. D.Y. Patil Dental College and Hospital, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Ravi V Shirahatti
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Maratha Mandal's Nathajirao G Halgekar Institute of Dental Sciences and Research center, Belagavi, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.167634

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Context: There is a need to evaluate the quality of postgraduate dissertations of dentistry submitted to university in the light of the international standards of reporting. Aims: We conducted the review with an objective to document the use of sampling methods, measurement standardization, blinding, methods to eliminate bias, appropriate use of statistical tests, appropriate use of data presentation in postgraduate dental research and suggest and recommend modifications. Settings and Design: The public access database of the dissertations from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences was reviewed. Subjects and Methods: Three hundred and thirty-three eligible dissertations underwent preliminary evaluation followed by detailed evaluation of 10% of randomly selected dissertations. The dissertations were assessed based on international reporting guidelines such as strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology (STROBE), consolidated standards of reporting trials (CONSORT), and other scholarly resources. Statistical Analysis Used: The data were compiled using MS Excel and SPSS 10.0. Numbers and percentages were used for describing the data. Results: The “in vitro” studies were the most common type of research (39%), followed by observational (32%) and experimental studies (29%). The disciplines conservative dentistry (92%) and prosthodontics (75%) reported high numbers of in vitro research. Disciplines oral surgery (80%) and periodontics (67%) had conducted experimental studies as a major share of their research. Lacunae in the studies included observational studies not following random sampling (70%), experimental studies not following random allocation (75%), not mentioning about blinding, confounding variables and calibrations in measurements, misrepresenting the data by inappropriate data presentation, errors in reporting probability values and not reporting confidence intervals. Few studies showed grossly inappropriate choice of statistical tests and many studies needed additional tests. Conclusions: Overall observations indicated the need to comply with standard guidelines of reporting research.

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