Quality of reporting of randomized controlled trials in general endocrinology literature

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Oct;93(10):3810-6. doi: 10.1210/jc.2008-0817. Epub 2008 Jun 26.


Context: The reporting quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is poor in general medicine and several areas of specialization but unknown in endocrinology.

Objective: Our aim was to assess the reporting quality of RCTs in general endocrinology. A secondary objective was to identify predictors for better reporting quality.

Design and setting: We systematically reviewed RCTs published in three general endocrinology journals between January 2005 and December 2006.

Participants: We included parallel-design RCTs that addressed a question of treatment or prevention. Article selection and data abstraction were conducted by two reviewers independently, and disagreements were resolved by consensus.

Main outcomes: There were two main outcomes: 1) a 15-point overall reporting quality score (OQS) based on the Consolidated Standards for Reporting Trials (CONSORT); and 2) a 3-point key score, based on allocation concealment, blinding, and use of intention-to-treat analysis.

Results: Eighty nine RCTs were included. The median OQS was 10 (interquartile range = 2). Allocation concealment, blinding, and analysis by intention to treat were reported in 10, 20, and 16 of the 89 RCTs, respectively. A multivariable regression analysis showed that complete industrial funding [incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.014; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.010-1.018], journal of publication (IRR = 1.068; 95% CI, 1.007-1.132), and sample size (IRR = 1.048; 95% CI, 1.026-1.070) were significantly associated with a slightly better OQS.

Conclusions: The quality of RCT reporting in general endocrine literature is suboptimal. We discuss our results, highlight the areas where improvements are needed, and provide some recommendations.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Endocrinology / methods*
  • Humans
  • Publishing* / standards
  • Quality Control
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Research Design* / standards