Systematic review of outcome measures in pediatric eosinophilic esophagitis treatment trials.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Heterogeneity has been noted in the selection and reporting of disease-specific, pediatric outcomes in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The consequence is invalid results or difficulty comparing results across trials. The primary objective of this systematic review was to assess primary outcome and outcome measure selection and reporting, in pediatric eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) treatment trials. As secondary objectives, we compared trial disease definition to established concensus guidelines, and the efficacy of current EoE treatments. METHODS:We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and CINAHL since 2001. We also searched clinical trial registries (portal.nihr.ac.uk; clinicaltrials.gov; isrctn.com; and anzctr.org.au) and references of included studies. We included RCTs of EoE treatment in patients 0-18 years. Two authors independently assessed articles. RESULTS:Eleven studies met inclusion criteria. All identified primary outcomes, however, of 9 unique primary outcomes, only 2 were used in more than one study. In total, 25 unique primary and secondary outcome measures were employed for pediatric EoE treatment trials. Measurement properties and rationale for their selection was rarely provided. Uptake of consensus-based diagnostic criteria was 25 % in trials initiated after 2011. Due to the small number and heterogeneity of studies obtained, no meta-analysis of treatment efficacy could be undertaken. This SR was limited to exclusively pediatric RCTs. CONCLUSIONS:The results of this study confirm the need for a standardized set of core outcomes that are universally reported in pediatric EoE trials. Consistent disease definition and standardized outcome reporting will facilitate meta-analyses across similar trials and inform future clinical decision-making. Systematic review registration number CRD42013003798.
Project description:Fewer randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are conducted for chronic or recurrent pain in pediatric populations compared with adult populations; thus, data to support treatment efficacy in children are limited. This article evaluates the design features and reporting practices of RCTs for chronic and recurrent pain that are likely unique to, or particularly important in, a pediatric population to promote improvements in the evidence base for pediatric pain treatments. Areas covered include outcome measure selection and reporting and reporting of adverse events and challenges to recruitment and retention. A search of PubMed and EMBASE identified primary publications describing RCTs of treatments for select chronic and recurrent pain conditions in children or adolescents published between 2000 and 2017. Only 49% of articles identified a primary outcome measure. The primary outcome measure assessed pain intensity in 38% of the trials, specifically measure by verbal rating scale (13%), faces pain scale (11%), visual analogue scale (9%), or numeric rating scale (5%). All of the CONSORT harms reporting recommendations were fulfilled by <50% of the articles. Discussions of recruitment challenges occurred in 64% of articles that enrolled <90% of their target sample. However, discussions regarding retention challenges only occurred in 14% of trials in which withdrawal rates were >10%. The goal of this article is to promote comprehensive reporting of pediatric pain RCTs to improve the design of future trials, facilitate conduction of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and better inform clinical practice. PERSPECTIVE: This review of chronic and recurrent pediatric pain trials demonstrates inadequacies in the reporting quality of key features specifically important to pediatric populations. It provides recommendations that address these shortcomings to promote continued efforts toward improving the quality of the design and publication of future pediatric clinical pain trials.
Project description:Selective reporting bias occurs when chance or selective outcome reporting rather than the intervention contributes to group differences. The prevailing concern about selective reporting bias is the possibility of results being modified towards specific conclusions. In this study, we evaluate randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in hematology journals, a group in which selective outcome reporting has not yet been explored.Our primary goal was to examine discrepancies between the reported primary and secondary outcomes in registered and published RCTs concerning hematological malignancies reported in hematology journals with a high impact factor. The secondary goals were to address whether outcome reporting discrepancies favored statistically significant outcomes, whether a pattern existed between the funding source and likelihood of outcome reporting bias, and whether temporal trends were present in outcome reporting bias. For trials with major outcome discrepancies, we contacted trialists to determine reasons for these discrepancies. Trials published between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2015 in Blood; British Journal of Haematology; American Journal of Hematology; Leukemia; and Haematologica were included.Of 499 RCTs screened, 109 RCTs were included. Our analysis revealed 118 major discrepancies and 629 total discrepancies. Among the 118 discrepancies, 30 (25.4%) primary outcomes were demoted, 47 (39.8%) primary outcomes were omitted, and 30 (25.4%) primary outcomes were added. Three (2.5%) secondary outcomes were upgraded to a primary outcome. The timing of assessment for a primary outcome changed eight (6.8%) times. Thirty-one major discrepancies were published with a P-value and twenty-five (80.6%) favored statistical significance. A majority of authors whom we contacted cited a pre-planned subgroup analysis as a reason for outcome changes.Our results suggest that outcome changes occur frequently in hematology trials. Because RCTs ultimately underpin clinical judgment and guide policy implementation, selective reporting could pose a threat to medical decision making.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Evidence-based health care is informed by results of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and their syntheses in meta-analyses. When the trial outcomes measured are not clearly described in trial publications, knowledge synthesis, translation, and decision-making may be impeded. While heterogeneity in outcomes measured in adolescent major depressive disorder (MDD) RCTs has been described, the comprehensiveness of outcome reporting is unknown. This study aimed to assess the reporting of primary outcomes in RCTs evaluating treatments for adolescent MDD. METHODS:RCTs evaluating treatment interventions in adolescents with a diagnosis of MDD published between 2008 and 2017 specifying a single primary outcome were eligible for outcome reporting assessment. Outcome reporting assessment was done independently in duplicate using a comprehensive checklist of 58 reporting items. Primary outcome information provided in each RCT publication was scored as "fully reported", "partially reported", or "not reported" for each checklist item, as applicable. RESULTS:Eighteen of 42 identified articles were found to have a discernable single primary outcome and were included for outcome reporting assessment. Most trials (72%) did not fully report on over half of the 58 checklist items. Items describing masking of outcome assessors, timing and frequency of outcome assessment, and outcome analyses were fully reported in over 70% of trials. Items less frequently reported included outcome measurement instrument properties (ranging from 6 to 17%), justification of timing and frequency of outcome assessment (6%), and justification of criteria used for clinically significant differences (17%). The overall comprehensiveness of reporting appeared stable over time. CONCLUSIONS:Heterogeneous reporting exists in published adolescent MDD RCTs, with frequent omissions of key details about their primary outcomes. These omissions may impair interpretability, replicability, and synthesis of RCTs that inform clinical guidelines and decision-making in this field. Consensus on the minimal criteria for outcome reporting in adolescent MDD RCTs is needed.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard for trials assessing the effects of therapeutic interventions; therefore it is important to understand how they are conducted. Our objectives were to provide an overview of a representative sample of pediatric RCTs published in 2007 and assess the validity of their results.<h4>Methods</h4>We searched Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials using a pediatric filter and randomly selected 300 RCTs published in 2007. We extracted data on trial characteristics; outcomes; methodological quality; reporting; and registration and protocol characteristics. Trial registration and protocol availability were determined for each study based on the publication, an Internet search and an author survey.<h4>Results</h4>Most studies (83%) were efficacy trials, 40% evaluated drugs, and 30% were placebo-controlled. Primary outcomes were specified in 41%; 43% reported on adverse events. At least one statistically significant outcome was reported in 77% of trials; 63% favored the treatment group. Trial registration was declared in 12% of publications and 23% were found through an Internet search. Risk of bias (ROB) was high in 59% of trials, unclear in 33%, and low in 8%. Registered trials were more likely to have low ROB than non-registered trials (16% vs. 5%; p = 0.008). Effect sizes tended to be larger for trials at high vs. low ROB (0.28, 95% CI 0.21,0.35 vs. 0.16, 95% CI 0.07,0.25). Among survey respondents (50% response rate), the most common reason for trial registration was a publication requirement and for non-registration, a lack of familiarity with the process.<h4>Conclusions</h4>More than half of this random sample of pediatric RCTs published in 2007 was at high ROB and three quarters of trials were not registered. There is an urgent need to improve the design, conduct, and reporting of child health research.
Project description:Our objective was to systematically review randomised clinical trials (RCTs) of paediatric type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) to assess reporting of (1) primary outcome, (2) outcome measurement properties and (3) presence or absence of adverse events.Electronic searches in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane SR and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) databases were undertaken. The search period was between 2001 and 2017. English-language RCTs on children younger than 21 years with T1DM were selected. We excluded studies of diagnostic or screening tools, multiple phase studies, protocols, and follow-up or secondary analysis of data.Of 11?816 unique references, 231?T1DM RCTs were included. Of total 231 included studies, 117 (50.6%) trials failed to report what their primary outcome was. Of 114 (49.4%) studies that reported primary outcome, 88 (77.2%) reported one and 26 (22.8%) more than one primary outcomes. Of 114 studies that clearly stated their primary outcome, 101 (88.6%) used biological/physiological measurements and 13 (11.4%) used instruments (eg, questionnaires, scales, etc) to measure their primary outcome; of these, 12 (92.3%) provided measurement properties or related citation. Of the 231 included studies, 105 (45.5%) reported that adverse events occurred, 39 (16.9%) reported that no adverse events were identified and 87 (37.7%) did not report on the presence or absence of adverse events.Despite tremendous efforts to improve reporting of clinical trials, clear reporting of primary outcomes of RCTs for paediatric T1DM is still lacking. Adverse events due to DM interventions were often not reported in the included trials. Transparent reporting of primary outcome, validity of measurement tools and adverse events need to be improved in paediatric T1DM trials.
Project description:Current guidelines recommend topical steroids as first-line treatment for patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). However, the evidence for this approach has been inconsistent in earlier reports. This meta-analysis aimed to clarify the efficacy of topical steroid treatment in active EoE using updated evidence.CENTRAL, MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published up to May 2014 that compared topical steroids with control treatments for active EoE. Study bias was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration Tool, and outcomes were pooled using random effects models. The primary outcome was the mean change in eosinophil counts. Secondary outcomes were symptom responses and adverse events.In total, seven RCTs (226 patients) were included. Topical steroids were associated with a significant reduction in esophageal mucosal eosinophil counts compared with control therapy although substantial heterogeneity between studies was observed (weighted mean difference (WMD) -27.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) -45.3 to -9.1, I(2)=56.2%). Subgroup analysis indicated the reduction in eosinophil counts was only present in studies where a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) trial was used to exclude other diagnoses (WMD -46.3, 95% CI -61.3 to -31.4, I(2)=0.0%). Subdivision of studies on the use of a PPI trial also accounted for the majority of heterogeneity among RCTs. No clear trends in symptom resolution were observed. Eleven out of 127 patients who received topical steroids developed asymptomatic esophageal candidiasis.These data provide updated high-quality evidence that support current guidelines for first-line EoE treatment with topical steroids after an initial PPI trial to exclude non-EoE pathologies (PROSPERO ID: CRD42014008828).
Project description:We assessed completeness of trial registration and the extent of outcome-reporting bias in published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of eczema (atopic dermatitis) treatments by surveying all relevant RCTs published from January 2007 to July 2011 located in a database called the Global Resource of Eczema Trials (GREAT). The GREAT database is compiled by searching six bibliographic databases, including EMBASE and MEDLINE. Out of 109 identified RCTs, only 37 (34%) had been registered on an approved trial register. Only 18 out of 109 trials (17%) had been registered "properly" in terms of submitting the registration before the trial end date and nominating a primary outcome. The proportion of "any registered" and "properly registered" RCTs increased from 19% and 10% in 2007 to 57% and 36% in 2011, respectively. Assessment of selective outcome-reporting bias was difficult even among the properly registered trials owing to unclear primary outcome description especially with regard to timing. Only 5 out of the 109 trials (5%) provided enough information for us to be confident that the outcomes reported in the published trial were consistent with the original registration. Adequate trial registration and description of primary outcomes for eczema RCTs is currently poor.
Project description:Recent literature hints that outcomes of clinical trials in medicine are selectively reported. If applicable to psychotic disorders, such bias would jeopardize the reliability of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) investigating antipsychotics and thus their extrapolation to clinical practice. We therefore comprehensively examined outcome reporting bias in RCTs of antipsychotic drugs by a systematic review of prespecified outcomes on ClinicalTrials.gov records of RCTs investigating antipsychotic drugs in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2013. These outcomes were compared with outcomes published in scientific journals. Our primary outcome measure was concordance between prespecified and published outcomes; secondary outcome measures included outcome modifications on ClinicalTrials.gov after trial inception and the effects of funding source and directionality of results on record adherence. Of the 48 RCTs, 85% did not fully adhere to the prespecified outcomes. Discrepancies between prespecified and published outcomes were found in 23% of RCTs for primary outcomes, whereas 81% of RCTs had at least one secondary outcome non-reported, newly introduced, or changed to a primary outcome in the respective publication. In total, 14% of primary and 44% of secondary prespecified outcomes were modified after trial initiation. Neither funding source (P=0.60) nor directionality of the RCT results (P=0.10) impacted ClinicalTrials.gov record adherence. Finally, the number of published safety endpoints (N=335) exceeded the number of prespecified safety outcomes by 5.5 fold. We conclude that RCTs investigating antipsychotic drugs suffer from substantial outcome reporting bias and offer suggestions to both monitor and limit such bias in the future.
Project description:Evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is required to guide treatment of critically ill children, but the number of RCTs available is limited and the publications are often difficult to find. The objectives of this review were to systematically identify RCTs in pediatric critical care and describe their methods and reporting.We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS and CENTRAL (from inception to April 16, 2013) and reference lists of included RCTs and relevant systematic reviews. We included published RCTs administering any intervention to children in a pediatric ICU. We excluded trials conducted in neonatal ICUs, those enrolling exclusively preterm infants, and individual patient crossover trials. Pairs of reviewers independently screened studies for eligibility, assessed risk of bias, and abstracted data. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus.We included 248 RCTs: 45 (18%) were multicentered and 14 (6%) were multinational. Trials most frequently enrolled both medical and surgical patients (43%) but postoperative cardiac surgery was the single largest population studied (19%). The most frequently evaluated types of intervention were medications (63%), devices (11%) and nutrition (8%). Laboratory or physiological measurements were the most frequent type of primary outcomes (18%). Half of these trials (50%) reported blinding. Of the 107 (43%) trials that reported an a priori sample size, 34 (32%) were stopped early. The median number of children randomized per trial was 49 and ranged from 6 to 4,947. The frequency of RCT publications increased at a mean rate of 0.7 RCTs per year (P<0.001) from 1 to 20 trials per year.This scoping review identified the available RCTs in pediatric critical care and made them accessible to clinicians and researchers (http://epicc.mcmaster.ca). Most focused on medications and intermediate or surrogate outcomes, were single-centered and were conducted in North America and Western Europe. The results of this review underscore the need for trials with rigorous methodology, appropriate outcome measures, and improved quality of reporting to ensure that high quality evidence exists to support clinical decision-making in this vulnerable population.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Wearable biometric monitoring devices (BMDs) have the potential to transform the conduct of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) by shifting the collection of outcome data from single measurements at predefined time points to dense continuous measurements. METHODS:Methodological systematic review to understand how recent RCTs used BMDs to measure outcomes and to describe the reporting of these RCTs. Electronic search was performed in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, and EMBASE and completed a page-by-page hand search in five leading medical journals between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018. Three reviewers independently extracted all primary and secondary outcomes collected using BMDs, and assessed (1) the definitions used to summarize BMD outcome data; (2) whether the validity, reliability, and responsiveness of sensors was reported; (3) the discrepancy with outcomes prespecified in public clinical trial registries; and (4) the methods used to manage missing and incomplete BMD outcome data. RESULTS:Of the 4562 records screened, 75 RCTs were eligible. Among them, 24% tested a pharmacological intervention and 57% used an inertial measurement sensor to measure physical activity. Included trials involved 464 outcomes (average of 6 [SD?=?8] outcomes per trial). In total, 35 trials used a BMD to measure a primary outcome. Several issues affected the value and transparency of trials using BMDs to measure outcomes. First, the definition of outcomes used in the trials was highly heterogeneous (e.g., 21 diabetes trials had 266 outcomes and 153 had different unique definitions to measure diabetes control), which limited the combination and comparison of results. Second, information on the validity, reliability, and responsiveness of sensors used was lacking in 74% of trials. Third, half (53%) of the outcomes measured with BMDs had not been prespecified, with a high risk of outcome reporting bias. Finally, reporting on the management of incomplete outcome data (e.g., due to suboptimal compliance with the BMD) was absent in 68% of RCTs. CONCLUSIONS:Use of BMDs to measure outcomes is becoming the norm rather than the exception in many fields. Yet, trialists need to account for several methodological issues when specifying and conducting RCTs using these novel tools.