For randomized controlled trials, the quality of reports of complementary and alternative medicine was as good as reports of conventional medicine

J Clin Epidemiol. 2005 Aug;58(8):763-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2004.08.020.


Objective: To compare the quality of reporting of reports randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in English and in languages other than English (LOE), and to determine whether there were differences between conventional medicine (CM) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) reports.

Study design and setting: We examined more than 600 RCTs associated with 125 systematic reviews. We extracted characteristics of each RCT using a standardized data collection form. We assessed quality using the Jadad scale and the adequacy of allocation concealment.

Results: There were only minor differences in the quality of reports of RCTs published in English compared with other languages (median quality score of 3 vs. 2, P=.10), and the quality of reports of CAM RCTs was similar to the CM reports (median score of 3 vs. 2, P=.14). There was no effect of language of publication on quality of reporting for CM trials (median score of 2 vs. 2, P=.12). Among CAM trials, however, overall quality scores were higher for reports in English than for reports in other languages (median score of 3 vs. 2, P=.04).

Conclusion: The overall quality of reports published in languages other than English is similar to that of English-language reports. Moreover, the overall quality of reporting of RCTs of CAM interventions is as good as that for CM interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics
  • Complementary Therapies / standards*
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Periodicals as Topic / standards*
  • Publications / standards
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / standards*
  • Research Design
  • Review Literature as Topic