Multiple data errors force retraction of paper about preemies

adcfnA group of neonatal researchers in Caen has lost their 2013 review article in Archives of Disease in Childhood Fetal & Neonatal Edition for a variety of problems with their analysis of the data.

The article was titled “NIDCAP in preterm infants and the neurodevelopmental effect in the first 2 years,” and its first author was Laura Fazilleau of University Hospital Côte de Nacre.

According to the abstract:

Background The Newborn Individualized Development Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) incorporates many aspects of developmental care and focuses on individualised family-oriented care.

Objectives To evaluate the effect of NIDCAP on neurodevelopmental and clinical outcomes in the preterm infant in the first 2 years.

Data sources MEDLINE database and the Cochrane Library.

Study eligibility criteria Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published from 1990 to 2011 in all languages.

Participants Preterm infants less than 33 weeks of gestational age and less than 2500 g at birth.

Intervention and outcomes The Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI) components of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development Second Edition (BSID II) were compared in NIDCAP intervention and standard of care (SOC) groups. The secondary outcomes were the Assessment of Preterm Infant’s Behavior (APIB) scales, length of hospital stay, days of mechanical ventilation, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy and oxygen therapy. Intraventricular haemorrhage, necrotising enterocolitis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and retinopathy of prematurity are compared between the groups.

Results Among the nine articles included, which reported on studies with a total of 503 infants, the NIDCAP group significantly outperformed the control group for the MDI (difference: 11.66; 95% CI (6.47 to 16.85), I²=72%, p<0.0001) and the PDI (difference: 8.32; 95% CI (3.48 to 13.17), I²=57%, p=0.0008). Similar significant results were found for the APIB scales.

Conclusions Compared to the SOC, NIDCAP has the potential to improve mental and psychomotor development clinically and statistically even if the long-term effect is uncertain.

Here’s the notice:

This paper has been retracted because it contained errors in the data extraction and analyses that affect the results, figures and tables. Data from a study that had been published in two different journal articles were included twice in the analyses. There was an error in the description of the measures used for neurodevelopmental testing in the reporting of the results.

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5 thoughts on “Multiple data errors force retraction of paper about preemies”

  1. It would be interesting to see if a study was published twice or if some subjects in a study had their data published separately. Quite often in a multi-centre trial investigators are able to publish just their patients, and it is difficult to identify that this has happened. Most authors attempt to hide what they are doing.

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