Indexing, reporting and identification of time-to-event survival analyses in the dental literature
Time-to-event analyses are regularly used in dentistry, but “surviving” inanimate objects differ conceptually from surviving humans. It was hypothesized that this nuance would affect how research was described and indexed, and thus retrieved.
This research explores how time-to-event dental data was reported and indexed, and what might be done to improve this, so that such studies were not lost in the literature.
Assessment of a gold standard of articles (n=95, hand-searched from 6955) revealed a confusing variety of words and MEDLINE indexing terms were used to describe the survival research. This directly impacts our ability to find such articles. Objective search strategies were developed and validated within an independent gold standard (n=148, hand-searched from 6514) to help identify past publications. Guidance for dental survival analyses reporting was developed to improve quality of future publications.