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question archive Were the comparison groups similar with respect to important determinants of outcome other than the one of interest? For example, when comparing teaching hospitals with non-teaching hospitals, the question must be asked: 'Are the two groups of patients similar from the point of view, for example, of the prognosis?'

Were the comparison groups similar with respect to important determinants of outcome other than the one of interest? For example, when comparing teaching hospitals with non-teaching hospitals, the question must be asked: 'Are the two groups of patients similar from the point of view, for example, of the prognosis?'

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Were the comparison groups similar with respect to important determinants of outcome other than the one of interest?

For example, when comparing teaching hospitals with non-teaching hospitals, the question must be asked: 'Are the two groups of patients similar from the point of view, for example, of the prognosis?'. Useful appraisal questions to ask include:

• Did the investigators measure all known important prognostic factors?

 • Were measures of patients' prognostic factors reproducible and accurate?

• Did the investigators show the extent to which patients differ on these factors?

• Did the researchers use some form of multivariate analysis to adjust for all the important prognostic factors?

 • Did additional analysis (particularly in low-risk subgroups) demonstrate the same results as the primary analysis?

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