Citation, DOI, disclosures and article data
At the time the article was created Matt A. Morgan had no recorded disclosures.View Matt A. Morgan's current disclosures
At the time the article was last revised Daniel J Bell had no recorded disclosures.View Daniel J Bell's current disclosures
Bias refers to a methodological flaw in a research study which prevents generalization of a sample population out to the entire population. It is a systematic error.
Errors in radiology research studies fall into one of two categories:
- random error
- systematic error/bias
Random error cannot be controlled, but it can be accounted for with the correct statistical technique. An appropriately low p-value improves our confidence that the results are not due to random error (usually set at <0.05 (5%) probability).
Systematic error/bias, on the other hand, cannot be accounted for with statistics. Non-random clustering of variable attributes can flaw our ability to generalize out to the general population. So can non-random gathering of the data by the radiology researcher.
There are multiple opportunities for bias to creep into a radiology study, some obvious and some subtle. It is the researcher's goal to eliminate any large biases and control or account for any smaller ones.