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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2006 May 3;98(9):620-5.

Reporting of randomized controlled trials in Hodgkin lymphoma in biomedical journals.

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Competence Network Malignant Lymphomas, Department I of Internal Medicine, University of Cologne, Germany.



Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the best tool to evaluate the effectiveness of clinical interventions. The Consolidated Standards for Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement was introduced in 1996 to improve reporting of RCTs. We aimed to determine the extent of ambiguity and reporting quality as assessed by adherence to the CONSORT statement in published reports of RCTs involving patients with Hodgkin lymphoma from 1966 through 2002.


We analyzed 242 published full-text reports of RCTs in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma. Quality of reporting was assessed using a 14-item questionnaire based on the CONSORT checklist. Reporting was studied in two pre-CONSORT periods (1966-1988 and 1989-1995) and one post-CONSORT period (1996-2002).


Only six of the 14 items were addressed in 75% or more of the studies in all three time periods. Most items that are necessary to assess the methodologic quality of a study were reported by fewer than 20% of the studies. Improvements over time were seen for some items, including the description of statistics methods used, reporting of primary research outcomes, performance of power calculations, method of randomization and concealment allocation, and having performed intention-to-treat analysis.


Despite recent improvements, reporting levels of CONSORT items in RCTs involving patients with Hodgkin lymphoma remain unsatisfactory. Further concerted action by journal editors, learned societies, and medical schools is necessary to make authors even more aware of the need to improve the reporting RCTs in medical journals to allow assessment of validity of published clinical research.

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