Objective: To evaluate the quality of the published literature on the treatment of pityriasis versicolor and to compare this evaluation with the number of times the work has been cited.
Methods: A search was performed using MEDLINE (1966-2002) to find publications evaluating the treatment of pityriasis versicolor. Two reviewers evaluated each clinical trial according to a list of pre-determined criteria including randomization and blinding, prior sample size calculation, treatment regimen clearly explained, and well-defined efficacy parameters. A maximum score of 20 could be attained by each publication. A citation count was performed using the ISI Web of Science Database (http://www.isinet.com/isi/products/citation/wos/).
Results: A total of 94 studies were included in this analysis of quality. Studies with a score of 8 or more were considered to be high quality, and 61 studies were rated as high-quality studies (65%). There was no significant correlation between paper quality and citation count.
Conclusion: It is important for investigators and clinicians to be aware of the design of a high-quality protocol, since such high-quality studies are more likely to reflect accurate efficacy rates. Also, it is important for the information on the design and conduct of the trial to be conveyed to the reader so that a meaningful comparison between the studies can be made.