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Table 1 Coding variables for clinical trials of herbal remedies and pharmaceuticals and associated newspaper articles

From: Herbal remedy clinical trials in the media: a comparison with the coverage of conventional pharmaceuticals

Coding variable: clinical trials Herbal remedy clinical trial
(N = 57)
Pharmaceutical clinical trial
(N = 48)
Statistical significance
Mean number of benefits 1.6 1.4 NS
Mean number of risks 0.9 1.1 NS
Mean sample size 144 12,124 P < 0.0001
Mean duration of trial (days) 124 1435 P = 0.008
Mean Jadad score 3.2 3.1 NS
Dose specified 94.7% 72.9% P = 0.002
Trial described as randomized 78.9% 72.9% P = 0.001
Trial described as double-blind 71.9% 68.8% P < 0.001
Withdrawals and dropouts described 82.5% 79.2% NS
Conflicts of interest NOT specified 77.2% 50.0% P = 0.003
Funding of trial NOT specified 33.9% 8.3% P = 0.004
Coding variable: newspaper articles (N = 352) (N = 201)  
Mean word count 698 716 NS
Mean number of benefits 1.3 1.2 NS
Mean number of risks 0.53 1.3 P < 0.0001
Source of funding NOT specified 83.5% 81.6% NS
Conflicts of interest NOT specified 96.6% 96.0% NS
At least one scientific/technical error in reporting on the trial 99% 99% NS
Duration of the clinical trial NOT specified 59.7% 57.2% NS
Sample size NOT specified 41.5% 29.4% P < 0.0001
Dose NOT specified 81.0% 95.5% P < 0.0001
Location of trial NOT specified 32.1% 32.3% NS
Randomization NOT specified 89.2% 94.0% NS
Double-blinding NOT specified 90.3% 98.5% P < 0.0001
Use of placebo NOT specified 45.7% 72.6% P < 0.0001
Withdrawals/dropouts NOT specified 98.0% 97.5% NS
  1. NS = not significant