Objective: To describe the change with time of the reported methodological quality of randomized controlled trials of physiotherapy interventions.
Study design and setting: For all trials of physiotherapy interventions indexed on the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), year of publication, and methodological quality scores (11-item PEDro scale and total PEDro score [range, 0-10]) were extracted. The relationship between trial quality and time was evaluated using regression analyses for the PEDro total score and individual quality items. The study was carried out in a university research center.
Results: Data from 10,025 trials published since 1960 were analyzed. The total PEDro score was related to time (year of publication), with the total score increasing by an average of ∼0.6 points each decade between 1960 and 2009. The reported use of eight of the 11 individual items from the PEDro scale (intention-to-treat analysis, concealed allocation, groups similar at baseline, reporting of results of between-group statistical comparisons, point measures and measures of variability reported, subjects randomly allocated to groups, eligibility criteria specified, and blinding of assessors) also improved with time.
Conclusion: The reported methodological quality of randomized controlled trials of physiotherapy interventions has improved over time. Further improvement is still necessary.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.