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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 73-78

Comparative Analysis of Study Design and Statistical Test Utilization in Indian Journal of Community Medicine, Indian Journal of Public Health and Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Department of Community Medicine, North DMC Medical College and Hindu Rao Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Sachdeva
Department of Community Medicine, North DMC Medical College and Hindu Rao Hospital, New Delhi-110007
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mamcjms.mamcjms_21_17

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Objective: To analyze study topic, study design, usage of statistical test, and other selected document parameters in published original research articles. Materials and Methods: Three journals (1) Indian Journal of Community Medicine (IJCM), (2) Indian Journal of Public Health (IJPH), and (3) Bulletin of World Health Organization (WHO) were reviewed and all original research article published during three years, that is, January 2014 to December 2016, were considered, and selected document parameters were recorded using checklist. During this period, IJCM released volumes 39 to 41, IJPH released 58 to 60, and WHO released 92 to 94. Results: A total of 318 original articles were reviewed with the contribution of 28.9% in IJCM, 27.6% in IJPH, and 43.3% in WHO bulletin. Out of all the publications, highest (46.5%) original article belonged to research domain category-I [communicable, maternal and child health (MCH)] followed by 104 (32.7%) category-II (noncommunicable diseases) and 66 (20.8%) by category-III (health system, medical education, and environment). Overall 79.2% original articles were cross-sectional in study design followed by cohort (15.4%), intervention/experimental study (3.4%), and case-control (1.8%). Average number of authors per article in WHO bulletin was 8.1 [95% confidence interval (CI): 7.1–9.0] followed by IJCM 4.2 (95% CI: 3.8–4.6), and IJPH (3.84, 95% CI: 3.49–4.19). There were 95 (29.9%) articles where-in all the authors were from a single institution, whereas in 223 (70.1%) articles, co-authors were from different institutions. It was also found that most (80.1%) of the study papers did not contain any background statement regarding statistical sample size estimation; 239 (75.2%) articles used statistical software; majority had utilized SPSS (61.08%), followed by STATA (19.24%), SAS (8.76%), R-software (5.45%), EPI-info (3.76%), and EXCEL (1.25%); nearly 210 (66%) original research articles utilized at least one of the inferential statistics (basic, advance, and survival analytical methods). Higher proportion of advance (60.2%) inferential statistical test and survival analysis (92.3%) were used in Bulletin of WHO; 82% of references used were within 10 years of publications of articles in WHO while this figure was 66% for ICJM and 63% for IJPH. Conclusion: This study provides an objective snapshot of national and international public health journal that may aid researcher for better comprehension, situational, and trend analysis as well as assist them in their future research endeavor.

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