Systematic review of clinical outcome reporting in randomised controlled trials of burn care.
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:Systematic reviews collate trial data to provide evidence to support clinical decision-making. For effective synthesis, there must be consistency in outcome reporting. There is no agreed set of outcomes for reporting the effect of burn care interventions. Issues with outcome reporting have been identified, although not systematically investigated. This study gathers empirical evidence on any variation in outcome reporting and assesses the need for a core outcome set for burn care research. METHODS:Electronic searches of four search engines were undertaken from January 2012 to December 2016 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs), using medical subject headings and free text terms including 'burn', 'scald' 'thermal injury' and 'RCT'. Two authors independently screened papers, extracted outcomes verbatim and recorded the timing of outcome measurement. Duplicate outcomes (exact wording ± different spelling), similar outcomes (albumin in blood, serum albumin) and identical outcomes measured at different times were removed. Variation in outcome reporting was determined by assessing the number of unique outcomes reported across all included trials. Outcomes were classified into domains. Bias was reduced using five researchers and a patient working independently and together. RESULTS:147 trials were included, of which 127 (86.4%) were RCTs, 13 (8.8%) pilot studies and 7 (4.8%) RCT protocols. 1494 verbatim clinical outcomes were reported; 955 were unique. 76.8% of outcomes were measured within 6 months of injury. Commonly reported outcomes were defined differently. Numbers of unique outcomes per trial varied from one to 37 (median 9; IQR 5,13). No single outcome was reported across all studies demonstrating inconsistency of reporting. Outcomes were classified into 54 domains. Numbers of outcomes per domain ranged from 1 to 166 (median 11; IQR 3,24). CONCLUSIONS:This review has demonstrated heterogeneity in outcome reporting in burn care research which will hinder amalgamation of study data. We recommend the development of a Core Outcome Set. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER:CRD42017060908.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Burn care represents a healthcare and economic burden to patients internationally. Choice of the most clinically effective treatment strategies requires evidence which is best obtained through high-quality randomised controlled trials (RCT). The number of published RCTs of burn care is increasing. However, trial quality and reporting standards are unclear. This study will assess the risk of bias and adequacy of reporting in recent burn care RCTs using tools endorsed by the Cochrane Collaboration. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:A systematic literature review will be undertaken, assessing parallel group RCTs evaluating therapeutic interventions for patients with cutaneous burns. Literature searches will use Ovid Medline, Ovid Embase, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library. Separate searches for each database will include medical subject heading and free text terms including 'burn', 'scald', 'thermal injury' and 'RCT'. Two reviewers will independently assess each study for inclusion. Risk of bias (RoB) will be assessed with the revised tool (RoB 2) and reporting completeness with the CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) 2010 guidelines. We will report a narrative synthesis of all studies, including domain specific, and overall risk of bias for the primary outcome of each trial. Inter-rater agreement for RoB 2 will be reported using Fleiss's Kappa. For adherence to the CONSORT guidelines, we will generate a completeness of reporting index for the ?ve domains. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:No ethics approval is required because published documents will be used. Findings of the study will be disseminated in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at conferences. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER:CRD42018111020.
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:BACKGROUND:Including results from unpublished randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in a systematic review may ameliorate the effect of publication bias in systematic review results. Unpublished RCTs are sometimes described in abstracts presented at conferences, included in trials registers, or both. Trial results may not be available in a trials register and abstracts describing RCT results often lack study design information. Complementary information from a trials register record may be sufficient to allow reliable inclusion of an unpublished RCT only available as an abstract in a systematic review. METHODS:We identified 496 abstracts describing RCTs presented at the 2007 to 2009 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meetings; 154 RCTs were registered in ClinicalTrials.gov. Two persons extracted verbatim primary and non-primary outcomes reported in the abstract and ClinicalTrials.gov record. We compared each abstract outcome with all ClinicalTrials.gov outcomes and coded matches as complete, partial, or no match. RESULTS:We identified 800 outcomes in 152 abstracts (95 primary [51 abstracts] and 705 [141 abstracts] non-primary outcomes). No outcomes were reported in 2 abstracts. Of 95 primary outcomes, 17 (18%) agreed completely, 53 (56%) partially, and 25 (26%) had no match with a ClinicalTrials.gov primary or non-primary outcome. Among 705 non-primary outcomes, 56 (8%) agreed completely, 205 (29%) agreed partially, and 444 (63%) had no match with a ClinicalTrials.gov primary or non-primary outcome. Among the 258 outcomes partially agreeing, we found additional information on the time when the outcome was measured more often in ClinicalTrials.gov than in the abstract (141/258 (55%) versus 55/258 (21%)). We found no association between the presence of non-matching "new" outcomes and year of registration, time to registry update, industry sponsorship, or multi-center status. CONCLUSION:Conference abstracts may be a valuable source of information about results for outcomes of unpublished RCTs that have been registered in ClinicalTrials.gov. Complementary additional descriptive information may be present for outcomes reported in both sources. However, ARVO abstract authors also present outcomes not reported in ClinicalTrials.gov and these may represent analyses not originally planned.
Project description:AIM:Medication review has been advocated as one of the measures to tackle the challenge of polypharmacy in older patients, yet there is no consensus on how best to evaluate its efficacy. This study aimed to assess outcome reporting in trials of medication review in older patients. METHODS:Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), prospective studies and RCT protocols involving medication review performed in patients aged 65 years or older in any setting of care were identified from: (1) a recent systematic review; (2) RCT registries of ongoing studies; (3) the Cochrane library. The type, definition, and frequency of all outcomes reported were extracted independently by two researchers. RESULTS:Forty-seven RCTs or prospective published studies and 32 RCT protocols were identified. A total of 327 distinct outcomes were identified in the 47 published studies. Only one fifth (21%) of the studies evaluated the impact of medication reviews on adverse events such as drug reactions or drug-related hospital admissions. Most of the outcomes were related to medication use (n = 114, 35%) and healthcare use (n = 74, 23%). Very few outcomes were patient-related (n = 24, 7%). A total of 248 distinct outcomes were identified in the 32 RCT protocols. Overall, the number of outcomes and the number and type of health domains covered by the outcomes varied largely. CONCLUSION:Outcome reporting from RCTs concerning medication review in older patients is heterogeneous. This review highlights the need for a standardized core outcome set for medication review in older patients, to improve outcome reporting and evidence synthesis.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:In 2004, nearly 11?million severely burn-injured patients required medical care worldwide. Burns cause prolonged hospitalisation and long-term disability. Although mortality has been reduced, morbidity remains significant.Burn care is costly and decision-making is challenging. A range of procedures are performed at different times after injury; new technology is emerging and alternate care pathways are regularly introduced. Data to guide evidence-based decision-making are lacking. Researchers use different outcomes to assess recovery, so it is not possible to combine trial information to draw meaningful conclusions. Early recovery measures include length of hospital stay, healing time and treatment complications. Longer-term outcomes include issues with function, cosmesis and psychological health. Reporting an agreed set of the most important outcomes (core outcome set (COS)) in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) will allow effective evidence synthesis to support clinical decisions. Patient input will ensure relevance. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:The aim is to produce a burn COS for RCT reporting. A long list of outcomes will be identified through systematic reviews of clinical and patient-reported outcomes. Additional outcomes will be identified from interviews with patients over 10 years, parents of children of any age and multidisciplinary professionals. A two-stage modified Delphi exercise will be undertaken to prioritise and condense the list, with patients (n=150) at different stages of recovery. We will also include nursing, therapy (n=100) and medical staff (n=100). A reduced list will be taken to consensus meetings with families and clinical staff to achieve a final COS. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:A COS will reduce outcome reporting heterogeneity in burn care research, allowing more effective use of research funding and facilitating evidence synthesis and evidence-based clinical decision-making. Stakeholders will include journal editors, health commissioners, researchers, patients and professionals. The study has ethical approval and is registered with Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials Initiative (http://www.comet-initiative.org/studies/details/798?result=true).
Project description:Inconsistent outcome reporting is one significant hurdle to combining results from trials into systematic reviews. Core outcome sets (COS) can reduce this barrier. The aim of this review was to map outcomes reported in caries prevention and management randomised controlled trials (RCT) as a first step to COS development. We also investigated RCT characteristics and reporting of primary outcomes and sample size calculations.PubMed, Embase, Web of Knowledge and Cochrane CENTRAL were systematically searched (1 January 1968 to 25 August 2015).RCTs comparing any technique for prevention or management of caries with another or placebo and RCTs comparing interventions to support patients undergoing treatment of caries (without setting, dentition or age restrictions). Categories were developed through piloting and group consensus and outcomes grouped accordingly.Of 4773 search results, 764 were potentially relevant, full text was available for 731 papers and 605 publications met the inclusion criteria and were included. For all outcomes across the time periods 1968-1980 and 2001-2010, reporting of outcome 'caries experience' reduced from 39% to 18%; 'clinical performance of the restoration' reporting increased from 33% to 42% although there was a reduction to 22% in 2011-2015. Emerging outcome domains include 'lesion activity' and 'pulp health-related outcomes', accounting for 1% and 0%, respectively, during 1968-1980 and 10% and 4% for 2011-2015. Reporting 'resource efficiency' and 'quality of life measures' have remained at a low level. No publications reported tooth survival independent of an index such as DMFT or equivalent. Primary outcomes were only identified as such in 414 (68%) of the reports.Over the past 50 years, outcome reporting for trials on prevention and management of carious lesions have tended to focus on outcomes measuring caries experience and restoration material clinical performance with lesion activity and cost-effectiveness increasingly being reported. Patient-reported and patient-focused outcomes are becoming more common (although as secondary outcomes) but remain low in use. The challenge with developing a COS will be balancing commonly previously reported outcomes against those more relevant for the future.PROSPERO, CRD42015025310 . Registered on 14 August 2015, Trials (Schwendicke et al., Trials 16:397, 2015) and COMET initiative online (COMET, 2017).
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:OBJECTIVES:Patient-reported outcomes (PRO) help patients, caretakers, clinicians, and policy makers make informed decisions regarding treatment effectiveness. Our objective was to assess the quality of PRO reporting and methodological strengths and weaknesses in randomized controlled trials (RCT) in bladder cancer. METHODS:A systematic literature search of bladder cancer RCT published between January 2004 and March 2014 was performed. Relevant studies were evaluated using a predetermined extraction form that included trial demographics, clinical and PRO characteristics, and standards of PRO reporting based on recommendations of the International Society for Quality of Life Research. RESULTS:In total, 9 RCTs enrolling 1,237 patients were evaluated. All studies were in patients with nonmetastatic disease. In 5 RCTs, a PRO was the primary end point. Most RCTs did not report the mode of administration of the PRO instrument or the methods of collecting data. No RCT addressed the statistical approaches for missing data. CONCLUSIONS:We found that few RCTs in bladder cancer report PRO as an outcome. Efforts to expand PRO reporting to more RCTs and improve the quality of PRO reporting according to recognized standards are necessary for facilitating clinical decision making.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To measure the frequency of adequate methods, inadequate methods and poor reporting in published randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and test potential factors associated with adequacy of methods and reporting. DESIGN:Retrospective analysis of RCTs included in Cochrane reviews. Time series describes the proportion of RCTs using adequate methods, inadequate methods and poor reporting. A multinomial logit model tests potential factors associated with methods and reporting, including funding source, first author affiliation, clinical trial registration status, study novelty, team characteristics, technology and geography. DATA:Risk of bias assessments for random sequence generation, allocation concealment, blinding of participants and personnel, blinding of outcome assessment, incomplete outcome data and selective reporting, for each RCT, were mapped to bibliometric and funding data. OUTCOMES:Risk of bias on six methodological dimensions and RCT-level overall assessment of adequate methods, inadequate methods or poor reporting. RESULTS:This study analysed 20 571 RCTs. 5.7% of RCTs used adequate methods (N=1173). 59.3% used inadequate methods (N=12 190) and 35.0% were poorly reported (N=7208). The proportion of poorly reported RCTs decreased from 42.5% in 1990 to 30.2% in 2015. The proportion of RCTs using adequate methods increased from 2.6% in 1990 to 10.3% in 2015. The proportion of RCTs using inadequate methods increased from 54.9% in 1990 to 59.5% in 2015. Industry funding, top pharmaceutical company affiliation, trial registration, larger authorship teams, international teams and drug trials were associated with a greater likelihood of using adequate methods. National Institutes of Health funding and university prestige were not. CONCLUSION:Even though reporting has improved since 1990, the proportion of RCTs using inadequate methods is high (59.3%) and increasing, potentially slowing progress and contributing to the reproducibility crisis. Stronger incentives for the use of adequate methods are needed.
Project description:Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are considered the gold standard form of evidence for assessing treatment efficacy, but many factors can influence their reliability including methodological quality, reporting quality and funding source. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between funding source and positive outcome reporting in veterinary RCTs published in 2011 and to assess the risk of bias in the RCTs identified.A structured search of PubMed was used to identify feline, canine, equine, bovine and ovine clinical trials examining the efficacy of pharmaceutical interventions published in 2011. Funding source and outcomes were extracted from each RCT and an assessment of risk of bias made using the Cochrane risk of bias tool.Literature searches returned 972 papers, with 86 papers (comprising 126 individual RCTs) included in the analysis. There was found to be a significantly higher proportion of positive outcomes reported in the pharmaceutical funding group (P) compared to the non-pharmaceutical (NP) and 'no funding source stated' (NF) groups (P = 56.9%, NP = 34.9%, NF = 29.1%, p < 0.05). A high proportion of trials had an unclear risk of bias across the five criteria examined.We found evidence that veterinary RCTs were more likely to report positive outcomes if they have pharmaceutical industry funding or involvement. Consistently poor reporting of trials, including non-identification of funding source, was found which hinders the use of the available evidence.