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J Dent. 2010 Sep;38(9):713-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2010.05.014. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

An assessment of quality characteristics of randomised control trials published in dental journals.

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Department of Community and Preventive Dentistry, School of Dentistry, University of Athens, Greece.



The purpose of this study was to investigate the quality of reporting of randomised clinical trials (RCTs) published in dental specialty journals.


The journals possessing the highest impact factor (2008 data) in the six major dental specialties were included in the study. The contents of the 24 most recent issues of each journal were hand-searched and research articles identified as randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were selected. Quality evaluation was performed using the modified Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement checklist. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics followed by univariate and multivariate examination of statistical associations (alpha=0.05).


Ninety-five RCTs were identified with generally suboptimal scores on quality reporting on key CONSORT areas. Significant differences were found among journals with the Journal of Clinical Periodontology achieving the highest score, followed by the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. There was a positive association between quality score and number of authors, involvement of statistician/epidemiologist, and multicentre trials.


The quality scores of RCTs in major dental journals are considered suboptimal in key CONSORT areas. This receives critical importance considering that improved quality of RCTs is a fundamental prerequisite for improved dental care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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