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Table 2 Methodological quality of studies based on the McMaster Critical Appraisal Tool [19]

From: The effectiveness of land based exercise compared to decompressive surgery in the management of lumbar spinal-canal stenosis: a systematic review

  Item Score
Authors 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Raw %
Level II                  
   Goren et al. 2010 RCT x ? ? 12 85.7
   Koc et al.2009 CT x ? ? ? 10 71.4
   Malmivaara et al. 2007 CT ? ? x x 10 71.4
   Pua et al. 2007 CT ? ? ? 11 78.6
   Thome et al. 2005 CT x ? x 11 78.6
   Weinstein et al. 2008 RCT ? ? x x 10 71.4
   Whitman et al. 2006 CT ? ? 12 85.7
Level III-1                  
   Sahin et al.2009 C x ? ? x x 9 64.3
Level III-2                  
   Athiviraham & Yen 2007 C ? ? ? 11 78.6
   Sobottke et al. 2010 C x ? ? x ? 9 64.3
Level III-3                  
   Cavusoglu et al. 2007 AB x ? ? n/a x 9 69.2
   Chopko & Caraway 2010 AB x ? ? n/a ? 9 69.2
   Yasar et al. 2009 AB x ? ? n/a x 9 69.2
  1. = yes; x = no; ? = not addressed; n/a = not applicable; AB = before and after; RCT = randomised controlled trial; CT = randomised clinical trial; C = prospective cohort
  2. McMaster Items: 1. study purpose clearly stated; 2. background literature reviewed; 3. research design; 4. sample described in detail; 5. sample size justified; 6. outcome measure reliability reported; 7. outcome measure validity reported; 8. intervention described; 9. contamination avoided; 10. co-intervention avoided; 11. results reported in terms of statistical significance; 12. analysis methods appropriate; 13. clinical significance reported; 14. drop-outs reported; 15. conclusions appropriate.
  3. Level of evidence based on NHMRC Designation of Levels of Evidence [20].