How informative are case studies of spider bites in the medical literature?

Stuber, Marielle; Nentwig, Wolfgang (2016). How informative are case studies of spider bites in the medical literature? Toxicon, 114, pp. 40-44. Elsevier 10.1016/j.toxicon.2016.02.023

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We analyzed the reliability and information content of 134 medical case studies on spider bites, published in 91 journal articles. Overall, we found that only 22% of these studies fulfilled the criteria for a verified spider bite. This means that the majority of such case studies cannot be attributed to a given spider species and usually not even to a spider. Their scientific value is negligible, moreover, such publications are even dangerous because they suggest incorrect conclusions. Secondly, we found that such case studies usually do not follow an obvious structure and many details on the development of symptoms, therapy and healing process are widely lacking. So even for verified spider bites, the comparability of case studies is limited. We discuss the obvious failure of a reviewing process for case studies and give recommendations how to increase the currently low information content of medical case studies on spider bites.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)

UniBE Contributor:

Stuber, Marielle and Nentwig, Wolfgang

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

0041-0101

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Alexander Strauss

Date Deposited:

17 Nov 2016 08:46

Last Modified:

15 Sep 2017 21:06

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.toxicon.2016.02.023

PubMed ID:

26923161

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.89934

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/89934

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