Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and productivity of schizophrenia trials: an ecological study

Moll, Carina; Gessler, Ursula; Bartsch, Stephanie; El-sayeh, Hany George; Fenton, Mark; Adams, Clive Elliott
January 2003
BMC Psychiatry;2003, Vol. 3, p18
Academic Journal
Background: The 5000 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group's database affords an opportunity to research for variables related to the differences between nations of their output of schizophrenia trials. Methods: Ecological study - investigating the relationship between four economic/demographic variables and number of schizophrenia RCTs per country. The variable with closest correlation was used to predict the expected number of studies. Results: GDP closely correlated with schizophrenia trial output, with 76% of the total variation about the Y explained by the regression line (r = 0.87, 95% CI 0.79 to 0.92, r2 = 0.76). Many countries have a strong tradition of schizophrenia trials, exceeding their predicted output. All nations with no identified trial output had GDPs that predicted zero trial activity. Several nations with relatively small GDPs are, nevertheless, highly productive of trials. Some wealthy countries seem either not to have produced the expected number of randomised trials or not to have disseminated them to the English-speaking world. Conclusions: This hypothesis-generating study could not investigate causal relationships, but suggests, that for those seeking all relevant studies, expending effort searching the scientific literature of Germany, Italy, France, Brazil and Japan may be a good investment.


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