Submited on: 13 May 2014 04:33:00 PM GMT
Published on: 14 May 2014 07:07:44 AM GMT
Good, but more explanation regarding methods required
Posted by Mr. Christopher D Wylie on 21 Nov 2016 07:11:12 AM GMT Reviewed by Interested Peers

  • What are the main claims of the paper and how important are they?

    The main claim is that antibiotics are only helpful to prevent preterm labor and the risks associated with preterm labor in only the most serious circumstances under strict medical supervision. Metronidazole is advised against use in pregnant women.

  • Are these claims novel? If not, please specify papers that weaken the claims to the originality of this one.

    The claims aren't novel. The author themselves mention that they are drawing their conclusions off others' research. This article is just a literature review compiling taht information.

  • Are the claims properly placed in the context of the previous literature?

    The claims reference previous literature and use the previous literature published to justify their results anc conclusions.

  • Do the results support the claims? If not, what other evidence is required?

    The results support the claim, but I would have liked to see a table summarizing the results from which the author got the data from to verify the authenticity.

  • If a protocol is provided, for example for a randomized controlled trial, are there any important deviations from it? If so, have the authors explained adequately why the deviations occurred?

    The author accounted for the randomized controlled trial and judged the work from which they were reviewing based on how good of a statistical model it was. They left out the trials with little statistical significance and the trials that had high rates of attrition.

  • Is the methodology valid? Does the paper offer enough details of its methodology that its experiments or its analyses could be reproduced?

    The methods described are valid, but I was still confused by parts of the method section. The author mentioned that the rates of preterm labor, neonatal morbidity, and maternal morbidity varied based on location (i.e. developed countries vs. developing countries) but never mentioned where the studies took place that were discussed and analyzed in the article, only that several of studies were multi-modal. I think the location of the studies could potentially affect the results and thus the analysis. I also think the methods could be more specific as to what was analyzed and make the lists (and links) of the studies referenced easier to find.


    It’s hard to verify that the calculations are correct because there is no table summarizing the results of the information collected from the various studies. One doesn’t know where the numbers came from. This could affect the results since no two studies are ever identical regardless of the steps taken to make them reproducible.

  • Would any other experiments or additional information improve the paper? How much better would the paper be if this extra work was done, and how difficult would such work be to do, or to provide?

    Overall, I think the paper did what its title said and the abstract summarized the article perfectly. One didn’t even have to read the article to find the final results and conclusions mentioned since they were all in the abstract. The research and conclusions made seem logical. However, I would have liked more explanation concerning the different results among the different antibiotic classes studied. The author mentions that metronidazole actually increased the risks of preterm labor, but didn’t offer a concrete explanation. I think explaining the results more rather than just listing the numbers would push the research forward a little more. I think it would take quite a bit of time and effort, but it would be well worth it.

  • Is this paper outstanding in its discipline? (For example, would you like to see this work presented in a seminar at your hospital or university? Do you feel these results need to be incorporated in your next general lecture on the subject?) If yes, what makes it outstanding? If not, why not?

    I don't think the research is groundbreaking and isn't offering new opinions on the material, therefore I can't classify it as outstanding.

  • Other Comments:

    The background information explained the risks of preterm labor and the potential for antibiotics to lower the rate of preterm labor. This leads to the purpose of the article: to review literature about how antibiotics affect preterm labor and neonatal morbidity. The objective of the article was made clear in the introduction.

  • Competing interests:
  • Invited by the author to review this article? :
  • Have you previously published on this or a similar topic?:
  • References:


  • Experience and credentials in the specific area of science:

    University of Kentucky - Biopharmaceutical Program

  • How to cite:  Wylie C D.Good, but more explanation regarding methods required[Review of the article 'Antibiotics for preventing preterm labour; An umbrella review ' by Othman M].WebmedCentral 2016;7(11):WMCRW003337
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