Claim validity of print advertisements found in Otolaryngology journals

Anthony G. Del Signore, Jason MacHan, Jeffrey H. Spiegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Educational Objective: At the conclusion of this presentation, the participants should be able to describe the degree to which product claims made in print advertisements within prominent Otolaryngology journals are supported by scientific evidence. Objectives: To evaluate the accuracy and scientific evidence supporting product claims made in print advertisements within Otolaryngology journals. Study Design: Cross-sectional survey with literature review, and multi-author evaluation. Methods: Fifty claims made within 23 unique advertisements found in prominent Otolaryngology journals were selected. References to support the claims were provided within the advertisement or obtained through direct request of the manufacturer. Five academic otolaryngologists with varying training and geographic practice location reviewed the claims and supporting evidence. Each physician had significant experience as an editorial reviewer, and several had specific training in research methodology and scientific methods. Results: Of the 50 claims, only 13 (26%) were considered to be based upon strong evidence. Regarding the supporting references, 49 references (73%) were published sources while 9 references (14%) were package inserts. Interobserver agreement amongst the reviewers was slight to poor. However, when 3 or more of the reviewers were in agreement, only 10% of the claims were deemed correct and only 6% of the claims were considered well supported. Conclusions: Advertisers make claims that appear in respectable journals. Over half of the claims reviewed were not supported by the provided reference materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S221
Issue numberSUPPL.3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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