Assessing reporting quality of randomized controlled trial abstracts in psychiatry: Adherence to CONSORT for abstracts: A systematic review

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Abstract

Background: Reporting quality of randomized controlled trial (RCT) abstracts is important as readers often make their first judgments based on the abstracts. This study aims to assess the reporting quality of psychiatry RCT abstracts published before and after the release of Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials for Abstracts (CONSORT-A) guidelines. Methods: MEDLINE/PubMed search was conducted to identify psychiatric RCTs published during 2005–2007 (pre-CONSORT) and 2012–2014 (post-CONSORT). Two independent reviewers assessed abstracts using a 18-point overall quality score (OQS) based on the CONSORT-A guidelines. Linear regression analysis was conducted to analyze factors associated with reporting quality. Results: Among 1,927 relevant articles, 285 pre-CONSORT and 214 post-CONSORT psychiatric RCT abstracts were included for analysis. The mean OQS improved from 6.9 (range: 3–13; 95% confidence interval (CI): 6.7–7.2) to 8.2 (range: 4–16; 95% CI: 7.8–8.5) after the CONSORT-A guidelines. Despite improvement, methods of randomization, allocation concealment, and funding source remained to be insufficiently reported (<5%) even after the release of CONSORT-A. High-impact general medical journals, multicenter design, positive outcome, and structured abstracts were associated with better reporting quality. Conclusions: The reporting quality in psychiatric RCT abstracts, although improved, remains suboptimal. To improve reporting quality of psychiatry RCT abstracts, greater efforts by both investigators and journal editors are required to enhance better adherence to the CONSORT-A guidelines.

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Song, S. Y., Kim, B., Kim, I., Kim, S., Kwon, M., Han, C., & Kim, E. (2017). Assessing reporting quality of randomized controlled trial abstracts in psychiatry: Adherence to CONSORT for abstracts: A systematic review. PLoS ONE, 12(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187807

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