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Table 4 Quality items and score of one study using a reaction-time task included in a systematic review on the effect of spinal manipulation on ‘brain function’

From: Unravelling functional neurology: does spinal manipulation have an effect on the brain? - a systematic literature review

1st Author Yr of publication Ref -Were study subjects in sham controlled studies reported to be blind? (Yes / No / Unclear) -If yes / unclear, was the blinding tested for success? (Yes / No) -If yes, was it successful? (Yes / No) -Were study subjects in studies with control group reported to be naive? (Yes / No / Unclear) -Was the origin of the subjects reported (Yes / No) -If yes, does it allow to exclude any interest? (Yes / No / Unclear) Were study subjects reported to have been randomly allocated to study groups? (Yes / No / Unclear) Were study groups comparable in relation to symptoms when studying symptomatic subjects (duration and pain intensity) (NA when cross-over study design)? (Yes / No) Were the intervention and control(s) well described (at least where and how)? (Yes / No) Was the assessor reported to be blind to group allocation? (Yes / No) Were losses and exclusions of study subjects reported or obvious in result section (including in tables or graphs)? (Yes / No / Unclear) Was the person who statistically analyzed the data reported to be blind to group allocation? (Yes / No) Comments by the technical experts (i) on the statistical analysis, and (ii) in relation to the methodology and/or technical aspects
Quality score (risk of bias, also including an external validity criteria) and classification
Kelly 2000 [29]   -Yes (but in relation to the outcome) -Yes -No        1: -The authors used a Student t tests to compare means instead of using a mixed-model ANOVA, followed by post-hoc tests if needed. -The authors did not study how RT (for correct answers) varied with angle, which is the main analysis conducted in the literature on such data. Therefore, without such a (usually linear) trend analysis it is not possible to understand if the overall mean effect observed by the authors is due to a change in slope (reflecting a change in processing speed) or in intercept (reflecting a change in stimulus encoding). 3: -Between-group difference pre-post significant only with one-sided t-test. -The between-group difference pre-post is not reported for the simple RT task but it seems that a contribution of the simple RT to the RT of the complex task cannot be excluded. -Unclear whether errors were also counted.
3.5/6 (58%) medium NA = Unclear 0.5 pt Yes 1 pt NA (healthy subjects) -Yes 0.5 pt -Yes 0.5 pt No 0 pt Yes 1 pt No 0 pt
  1. NA Not applicable, RT Rreaction time