Table 4

Criteria to establish possible validity of counterintuitive data

ViabilityIs the value consistent with clinical reality? Are the values even possible ones?
ConsistencyIf applicable (not always the case in retrospective analysis), is the value observed consistently, such as in our pain score observations?
ContinuityWhat is the context of the value - does it occur as a sudden aberrant value (a ‘blip’) or as one of increasingly aberrant values (a trend)?
IdentityAre the circumstances that produced the data truly identical so far as identifiable? ie, Would the same circumstances produce the same data results in a different database, institutional or cultural context?
ReproducibilityIs the value reproducible on repetition? While reproduction cannot be performed on retrospective data, can the values be reproduced on observation across different clinical databases or in the same database over ongoing time?
SensibilityEven if it does not meet current clinical expectations, does it make potential sense in associated clinical context?
CuriosityDoes it drive the observer to seek alternative better solutions and pose questions for further research?