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Int Urogynecol J. 2018 Jul;29(7):1011-1017. doi: 10.1007/s00192-017-3465-6. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

Quality of randomized controlled trials published in the International Urogynecology Journal 2007-2016.

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Department of Urology, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.
Department of Urology, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
Department of Urology, Eulji general hospital, Eulji University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.
Department of Urology, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.
Department of Urology, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, 249-1, Gyomun-dong, Guri, 471-701, South Korea.



Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) provide the best quality clinical evidence. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of RCTs published by the International Urogynecology Journal (IUJ) in 2007-2016.


RCTs in original articles were extracted from PubMed and IUJ homepage. Change in RCT quality over time was assessed with Jadad and van Tulder scales and Cochrane Collaboration's risk of bias tool (CCRBT). Jadad scores of 3-5 or van Tulder scores of >5 indicated high-quality RCTs. The effect on RCT quality of including funding source and institutional review board (IRB) approval statements and describing the intervention was assessed. In addition, changes in RCT topics over time were assessed.


Annual RCT frequencies did not change significantly (6.7-15.7%): 36.1% and 25.7% described blinding and allocation concealment, respectively. Both tended to increase between 2013 and 2016, particularly 2013 and 2014. Funding statement inclusion (39.1% overall) and intervention description (78.2% overall) tended to increase steadily. IRB statement inclusion (60.4% overall) increased significantly (p < 0.01). Jadad scores and van Tulder rose significantly until 2014 (p < 0.01). Frequencies of high-quality RCTs tended to rise. CCRBT indicated that RCTs with a low risk of bias tended to increase until 2014. However, from 2015, Jadad scores, van Tulder, and CCRBT the low risk tended to decreased. RCTs with funding and IRB approval statements had higher Jadad and van Tulder scores than unfunded RCTs (p < 0.01 and p < 0.01, respectively). Intervention description did not associate with better quality.


RCT quality improved over time, but a dip in quality was observed in 2015-2016 because of decreased blinding and allocation concealment.


CONSORT statement; Randomized controlled trial; Reporting quality

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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