Objective: This study investigates the influence of different aspects of
methodologic quality on the conclusions of a systematic review
concerning treatments of acute lateral ankle sprain.
Method: A data set of a systematic review of 44 trials was used, of which 22 trials
could be included in this study. Quality assessment of the individual
studies was performed using the Delphi list. We calculated effect
sizes of the main outcome measure in each study in order to evaluate
the relationship between overall quality scores and outcome. Next, we
investigated the impact of design attributes on pooled effect
sizes by subgroup analysis.
Results: The quality of most studies (82%) was
low; only 4 of 22 trials were of high quality.
Studies with proper randomization and blinding procedure
produce a slightly higher (not statistically significant) effect
estimate compared to the other studies.
Conclusion: Previous research has suggested that methodologically
poorly designed studies tend to over-estimate the effect
estimate. Our study does not confirm these conclusions.