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Contemp Clin Trials. 2008 Nov;29(6):843-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2008.07.004. Epub 2008 Jul 24.

Are leading medical journals following their own policies on CONSORT reporting?

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Cancer Outcomes Research Program, Cancer Care Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


The revised Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement recognizes the importance of including data so that readers are able to judge the reliability or relevance of randomized controlled trial (RCT) findings. However, it is unclear whether journals consistently report the pre-randomization information necessary to assess the general applicability of trial results. The objective of this study was to assess the extent of adherence to pre-randomization data reporting in 4 leading general medicine journals, as recommended by the revised CONSORT statement over a specific time frame. A total of 480 RCTs met the eligibility criteria for review. In 2004, 138 of 246 (56%) articles reported the full CONSORT pre-randomization information, of which 121 (88%) presented this information in diagram form. In 2006, 136 of 234 (58%) reported the full information, of which 127 (93%) presented the information in a diagram. These numbers indicate no improvement in the reporting of pre-randomization information. In conclusion, reporting of the full CONSORT data remains inconsistent. We recommend that journals continue to support the CONSORT statement and ensure that adequate information is provided upon submission before commencing the peer review process. The presentation of clear, precise data will ensure that readers are able to better interpret the applicability of findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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