Misuse of statistics in medical and sports science research is common and may lead to detrimental consequences to healthcare. Many authors, editors and peer reviewers of medical papers will not have expert knowledge of statistics or may be unconvinced about the importance of applying correct statistics in medical research. Although there are guidelines on reporting statistics in medical papers, a checklist on the more general and commonly seen aspects of statistics to assess when peer-reviewing an article is needed. In this article, we propose a CHecklist for statistical Assessment of Medical Papers (CHAMP) comprising 30 items related to the design and conduct, data analysis, reporting and presentation, and interpretation of a research paper. While CHAMP is primarily aimed at editors and peer reviewers during the statistical assessment of a medical paper, we believe it will serve as a useful reference to improve authors’ and readers’ practice in their use of statistics in medical research. We strongly encourage editors and peer reviewers to consult CHAMP when assessing manuscripts for potential publication. Authors also may apply CHAMP to ensure the validity of their statistical approach and reporting of medical research, and readers may consider using CHAMP to enhance their statistical assessment of a paper.
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Deceased Douglas G Altman's deceased date: June 3, 2018
Contributors MAM, MN and DGA produced the first draft. GSC, RON, NPJ and MJC suggested revisions. All authors approved the final version.
Funding GSC was supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford, and Cancer Research UK (programme grant: C49297/A27294).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.