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April/May 2009 (vol. 05/6)

ContentsFeaturesResearch PlusCPD

Research Plus

Influenza vaccine effectiveness research

Research papers concluding in favour of influenza vaccination are more likely to be of lower methodological quality than those casting doubt on their effectiveness. A systematic review on the effectiveness of influenza vaccine identified 259 papers, mostly on healthy populations. Notably, while 70% of the papers concluded in favour of vaccine use, only 18% had complete agreement between the reported data and the authors’ conclusions. Methodological quality was strongly associated with concordance between data and conclusions – in other words, the higher the quality of the study the lower the risk of bias. Industry-funded studies were more likely to conclude vaccine effectiveness and more likely to be published in high-impact journals despite being of similar study quality and size to government-funded studies.

British Medical Journal 2009; 338: b354, doi:10.1136/bmj.b354


Occupational Health at Work April/May 2009 (vol. 05/6) pp44