Trial By Error: An Update About The Pediatric MUS Systematic Review


David Tuller


By David Tuller, DrPH

This week I raised concerns about a second systematic review that cited the dung heap known as the Lightning Process study, published by Archives of Disease in Childhood two years ago. This new review did not mention the paper’s egregious deficiencies. After the appearance in April of an earlier systematic review that highlighted the study, I sent letters of concern both to Dr Fiona Godlee, editorial director of BMJ, and Dr Terry Segal of University College London, that review’s senior author.

To date, neither has taken any public steps to address the issues. Dr Godlee and her editorial team have apparently fallen asleep at the wheel when it comes to this domain of inquiry, for reasons that remain opaque. Dr Segal, so far, has given no sign that she is concerned about having cited a study in which the investigators violated core ethical and methodological principles by recruiting more than half the participants prior to trial registration, swapping outcomes based on the early results, and then deciding not to disclose these details in the published paper.


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