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Could real-world data replace evidence from clinical trials in surgical retinal conditions?
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  • Published on:
    Real-world data may answer questions which randomized clinical trial cannot in retinal surgery

    Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are considered to be the best method for evaluating the effectiveness of medical interventions.1 Despite their strengths, RCTs have substantial limitations.1 Although RCTs have strong internal validity, they occasionally lack external validity and generalizations of findings outside the study population may be invalid. More specifically in retinal surgery, there are many obstacles to conducting RCTs to address the specific questions asked, so the analysis using real-world data is useful.2 Drs Anguita and Charteris wrote an editorial in the British Journal of Ophthalmology (BJO) on the merits and limitations of studies using real-world data.3 They cited our papers that were recently published in BJO which used the data collected in the Japan Retinal Detachment Registry (J-RD registry), and I would like to comment on with a focus on the retinal surgery.4,5

    As correctly stated by Drs Anguita and Charteris, studies using the propensity score matching method cannot be performed well if one is not familiar with the limitations of this technique. 3 However, this is also true for those who do not have a deep understanding of the disease and may make incorrect interpretations. This would be the case for our paper4 cited in the editorial. This study compared pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) and scleral buckling for superior RD without macula detachment using the data from the J-RD registry. The results which were analyzed using propensity score...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.