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Syst Rev. 2013 Jun 17;2:42. doi: 10.1186/2046-4053-2-42.

Completeness of reporting of setting and health worker cadre among trials on antenatal iron and folic acid supplementation in pregnancy: an assessment based on two Cochrane reviews.

Author information

1
Norwegian Knowledge Centre for Health Services, Oslo, Norway. rachel_harper@med.unc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Poor reporting of medical trials has triggered the development of trial reporting standards within the scientific community. In addition to a description of the proposed intervention, adequate information about the trial setting and the group of health workers (cadre) delivering the intervention would allow a better understanding of the generalizability of the trial findings, facilitate replication of trial interventions and assist with assessment of trials for inclusion in systematic reviews. This study aims to determine the completeness of reporting for trial setting and cadre among trials included in two Cochrane reviews on iron and folic acid supplementation for women during pregnancy.

METHODS:

From the 81 trials included in the two Cochrane reviews, we extracted data on the trial setting, including the facility type and geographic location, facility descriptors (i.e. level of care) and population descriptors (i.e. socioeconomic status); and the cadre, including professional qualifications, training and supervision.

RESULTS:

Almost all studies reported the facility type and location (96%). However, only 68% included this information in the "methods" section of the report. Facility descriptors and population descriptors were less commonly reported (26% and 54% respectively). For 34% of the trials, we found some account of the type of health worker that delivered the intervention. Only 4% of the trials reported any training procedures.

CONCLUSIONS:

Currently, complete reporting of setting and health worker cadre in iron and folic acid supplementation in pregnancy trials remains far from ideal, limiting assessments of the applicability of the trial findings. Trialists and journals need to ensure that this information is included in trial reports by adhering to and improving current reporting standards and by not making assumptions regarding readers' knowledge of the context and of the intervention delivery mechanism.

PMID:
23773404
PMCID:
PMC3689645
DOI:
10.1186/2046-4053-2-42
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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