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June 2018, Volume 68, Issue 6

Letter to the Editor

Comments on Qureshi et al (J Pak Med Assoc 2017; 67: 1797-1802) - Seasonal and spatial quantitative changes in Aedes Aegypti under distinctly different ecological areas of Lahore, Pakistan

Rohan Kumar Ochani  ( Dow Medical College, Karachi )
Asim Shaikh  ( Dow Medical College, Karachi )
Syed Saboor Hasan  ( Dow Medical College, Karachi )

Madam, given the drastic health problem Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, has been for Pakistan,1 we congratulate Qureshi et al. 2 on their tremendous efforts regarding environmental effects on its density patterns. However, we believe that incorrect usage of the statistical correlation system coupled with the lack of a satisfactory limitations section, greatly undermines the confidence with which the results of the study can be interpreted.  Firstly, it states "P<0.5 was taken as statistically insignificant". This is a grave oversight as when investigating statistical correlations, P<0.05 is always taken, 3 a value higher than that means any correlation obtained could be circumstantial, or at the risk of being direct, incorrect. Rarely, in some large scale randomized clinical trials, P<0.1 might be taken3 but never higher than that.  Secondly, the study fails to mention any significant limitations that it might have had to overcome besides the choosing of different mosquito species, such as tampering of the ovitraps by house residents. And if no such tampering occurred, then how was it safe guarded against. The significance of a detailed limitations section is not to be over-looked as it shapes and designs future studies pertaining to similar subjects. 4 If missing, it can be perceived as unawareness on the authors part4 and hinder any future studies by not preparing them for upcoming difficulties.  Hence, we believe, that due to these shortcomings, the confidence with which the results and recommendations of the study can be stated is compromised.

Disclaimer: None to declared.
Conflict of Interest: None to declared.
Funding Source: None to declared.

References

1.  Rasheed SB, Butlin RK, Boots M. A review of dengue as an emerging disease in Pakistan. Public Health. 2013; 127: 11-7. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2012.09.006.
2.  Qureshi EMA, Tabinda AB, Vehra S. Seasonal and spatial quantitative changes in Aedes aegypti under distinctly different ecological areas of Lahore, Pakistan. J Pak Med Assoc 2017; 67: 1797-802.
3.  Palesch YY. Some common misperceptions about p-values. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation. 2014; 45: e244-e246. doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.006138.
4.  Puhan MA, Akl EA, Bryant D, Xie F, Apolone G, Riet G ter. Discussing study limitations in reports of biomedical studies- the need for more transparency. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. 2012; 10: 23. doi:10.1186/1477-7525-10-23. 

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association has agreed to receive and publish manuscripts in accordance with the principles of the following committees: