Evidence-based dentistry or meta-analysis illness? A commentary on current publishing trends in the field of temporomandibular disorders and bruxism

D. Manfredini, C.S. Greene, J. Ahlberg, A. De Laat, F. Lobbezoo, G.D. Klasser

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The field of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) and bruxism research has recently witnessed a publishing trend leaning towards an overuse of systematic reviews (SRs) that contribute little or nothing to current knowledge. The majority of these seem to be more methodological exercises than manuscripts prepared to provide clinicians and researchers with up-to-date information to advance knowledge. In addition, given the increasing number of researchers who have been reviewing the dental literature on various topics without seemingly having any specific clinical or scientific background in the topic under review, the ultimate value of some SRs is questionable. Some of them end up producing meta-analyses (MAs) to give “numbers” (eg, risk measures and strength of association) that do not have a biological basis, due to the clinical heterogeneity of the articles being reviewed. Based on the above, the present commentary discusses this ongoing publishing trend that is affecting the TMD and bruxism field, which does not align well with the core principles of evidence-based dentistry (EBD). Ideally, EBD should be derived from a combination of literary, clinical and patient-centred information, but relying only on the bibliographic aspects could potentially expose less expert clinicians and other readers who merely browse the literature to incomplete, misdirected or even incorrect conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

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