Isabelle Boutron



Isabelle Boutron, MD, PhD

Isabelle Boutron is Professor of Epidemiology at the Université Paris Cité, head of the Methods Research Team within the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Statistics-CRESS – Inserm – Université Paris Cité). She is director of Cochrane France, co-convenor of the Bias Methods group of Cochrane and member of the SPIRIT-CONSORT executive committee.

Her research focusses on Research on Research particularly Interventional Research on Research, transparency, distorted reporting (i.e., spin) and the peer-review process. She is studying the methodological issues of assessing interventions (blinding, bias, external validity, complex interventions) and she is questioning methods of evidence synthesis. She has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles. She led an innovative and ambitious joint doctoral training programme funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, dedicated to Methods in Research on Research (MIROR) in the field of clinical research. She is currently leading the COVID-NMA initiative a living mapping and living evidence synthesis of preventive interventions and treatments for COVID-19.

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Research interests

  • Meta Research

  • Responsible Research

  • Evidence synthesis

Key publications

  • Boutron I, Chaimani A, Meerpohl JJ, Hróbjartsson A, Devane D, Rada G, Tovey D, Grasselli G, Ravaud P. The COVID-NMA Project: Building an Evidence Ecosystem for the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ann Intern Med. 2020;173(12):1015-7.

  • Naidoo N, Nguyen VT, Ravaud P, Young B, Amiel P, Schanté D, Clarke M, Boutron I. The research burden of randomized controlled trial participation: a systematic thematic synthesis of qualitative evidence. BMC Med. 2020;18(1):6

  • Nguyen C, Boutron I, Zegarra-Parodi R, Baron G, Alami S, Sanchez K, Daste C, Boisson M, Fabre L, Krief P, Krief G, Lefèvre-Colau MM, Rannou F. Effect of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment vs Sham Treatment on Activity Limitations in Patients With Nonspecific Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181(5):620-30.

  • Paludan-Müller AS, Créquit P, Boutron I. Reporting of harms in oncological clinical study reports submitted to the European Medicines Agency compared to trial registries and publications-a methodological review. BMC Med. 2021;19(1):88.

  • Boutron I, Haneef R, Yavchitz A, Baron G, Novack J, Oransky I, Schwitzer G, Ravaud P. Three randomized controlled trials evaluating the impact of “spin” in health news stories reporting studies of pharmacologic treatments on patients’/caregivers’ interpretation of treatment benefit. BMC Med. 2019;17(1):105.