Reproducibility Trial Publishes Two Conclusions for One Paper

June 4, 2019

(Nature) – How deeply an anaesthetist should sedate an elderly person when they have surgery is a controversial issue, because some studies link stronger doses of anaesthetic with earlier deaths. So it should reassure clinicians to see a study in the British Journal of Anaesthesia that investigates and rules out such a link — the published paper’s discussion section says so explicitly: “These results are reassuring.” Or are they? Another paper in the journal analyses the same results and reaches a different conclusion about death rates. It says the trial didn’t include enough patients to reach that conclusion — or any conclusion — on mortality.