Misquoting the literature

An interesting study in the Journal of Hand Surgery examines whether authors citing a 1986 study have accurately represented the findings reported in this classic article. This points up the importance of reviewing original studies, when practicing evidence-based medicine, rather than relying on later articles to accurately interpret them.

From the abstract:

PURPOSE: Novel clinical studies often define how we practice hand surgery. Proper referencing of these articles is therefore critical. Since the publication of Knirk and Jupiter’s 1986 study analyzing intra-articular distal radius fractures in young adults, citations of this article have appeared to be inconsistent in the biomedical literature. … RESULTS: Of the 154 articles examined, 63 have at least 1 inaccurate reference of the Knirk and Jupiter article. In general, articles referencing Knirk and Jupiter’s classification system, protocol, or tables are accurate (59 of 63), whereas a majority of the articles addressing the value of 2 mm of articular incongruity after a distal radius fracture are inaccurate (43 of 57).

Porrino JA Jr, Tan V, Daluiski A. Misquotation of a commonly referenced hand surgery study. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2008 Jan;33(1):2-7. PMID: 18261657

Associated editorial:
Meals RA. Misquoting classic orthopaedic literature. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2008 Jan;33(1):8. PMID: 18261658

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