PEER-REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL ARTICLES
Below are folders with peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and advice for thinking critically about information when presented to you. Each folder has an accumulation of scientific studies related to the topic. Most folders include articles related to sleep. However, folder "3_USED TO ARGUE AGAINST CRYING IN RELATION TO BSI" includes articles that some people like to use to argue that crying in relation to sleep training is bad.
I suggest that when you are gathering information or taking in what someone else is saying, you ask the following questions in order to make the best informed decision for you and your family:
1) Is the information being provided coming from a valid source?
If this is not the case. Ignore the information and find a source that is valid! Examples of invalid sources are blog posts without evidence, someone who lacks the education and is guessing, someone’s opinion, sometimes your emotions, etc.
If the source is valid, a peer-reviewed journal/scientific article or extensive experience, move onto the following questions.
2) If it is coming from a valid source, double check that the information extracted from that source was not manipulated to fit someone else’s agenda. Here, we need to consider two different scenarios.
a) Is the study being used relevant to the topic of discussion? In this case, does the resource used provide information on behavioral sleep interventions?
b) Is the information provided being manipulated in any way? Are the results being used to provide a message that does not support the study?
3) What is the year of the study? Have follow-up studies been done since their initial conclusion?
4) If it is coming from a valid source, was it a well done study?
a) Is the study randomized? The answer is generally yes for a well done study.
b) What is the sample size? The larger the better!
c) Is the study a controlled study? The answer is generally yes for a well done study.
d) Are the conclusions being made congruent with what was actually measured? The answer is yes for a well done study.
e) Was the data used properly? Were the right tests used? This is not always easy for someone without a statistics background to identify. So the first five questions will help! However, it is important to note that different statistical studies exist. And while one is more appropriate than the others based on the data, the tests can be used in a way to provide the outcome that the authors are trying to show.
I dive into this process even more as I debunk the myth that sleep training ruins children. Click here to read that now.