Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Comparative Study
, 12, 58

Modified Versus Standard Intention-To-Treat Reporting: Are There Differences in Methodological Quality, Sponsorship, and Findings in Randomized Trials? A Cross-Sectional Study

Affiliations
Comparative Study

Modified Versus Standard Intention-To-Treat Reporting: Are There Differences in Methodological Quality, Sponsorship, and Findings in Randomized Trials? A Cross-Sectional Study

Alessandro Montedori et al. Trials.

Abstract

Background: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that use the modified intention-to-treat (mITT) approach are increasingly being published. Such trials have a preponderance of post-randomization exclusions, industry sponsorship, and favourable findings, and little is known whether in terms of these items mITT trials are different with respect to trials that report a standard intention-to-treat.

Methods: To determine differences in the methodological quality, sponsorship, authors' conflicts of interest, and findings among trials with different "types" of intention-to-treat, we undertook a cross-sectional study of RCTs published in 2006 in three general medical journals (the Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet) and three specialty journals (Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, the American Heart Journal and the Journal of Clinical Oncology). Trials were categorized based on the "type" of intention-to-treat reporting as follows: ITT, trials reporting the use of standard ITT approach; mITT, trials reporting the use of a "modified intention-to-treat" approach; and "no ITT", trials not reporting the use of any intention-to-treat approach. Two pairs of reviewers independently extracted the data in duplicate. The strength of the associations between the "type" of intention-to-treat reporting and the quality of reporting (sample size calculation, flow-chart, lost to follow-up), the methodological quality of the trials (sequence generation, allocation concealment, and blinding), the funding source, and the findings was determined. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results: Of the 367 RCTs included, 197 were classified as ITT, 56 as mITT, and 114 as "no ITT" trials. The quality of reporting and the methodological quality of the mITT trials were similar to those of the ITT trials; however, the mITT trials were more likely to report post-randomization exclusions (adjusted OR 3.43 [95%CI, 1.70 to 6.95]; P < 0.001). We found a strong association between trials classified as mITT and for-profit agency sponsorship (adjusted OR 7.41 [95%CI, 3.14 to 17.48]; P < .001) as well as the presence of authors' conflicts of interest (adjusted OR 5.14 [95%CI, 2.12 to 12.48]; P < .001). There was no association between mITT reporting and favourable results; in general, however, trials with for-profit agency sponsorship were significantly associated with favourable results (adjusted OR 2.30; [95%CI, 1.28 to 4.16]; P = 0.006).

Conclusion: We found that the mITT trials were significantly more likely to perform post-randomization exclusions and were strongly associated with industry funding and authors' conflicts of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Study Screening Process. AAC: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy; AHJ: American Heart Journal; JAMA: Journal of American Medical Association; JCO: Journal of Clinical Oncology; NEJM: New England Journal of Medicine.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 24 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Gravel J, Opatrny L, Shapiro S. The intention-to-treat approach in randomized controlled trials: are authors saying what they do and doing what they say? Clin Trials. 2007;4:350–356. doi: 10.1177/1740774507081223. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Hollis S, Campbell F. What is meant by intention to treat analysis? Survey of published randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 1999;319:670–674. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Kruse RL, Alper BS, Reust C, Stevermer JJ, Shannon S, Williams RH. Intention-to-treat analysis: who is in? Who is out? J Fam Pract. 2002;51:969–971. - PubMed
    1. Ruiz-Canela M, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, de Irala-Estevez J. Intention to treat analysis is related to methodological quality. BMJ. 2000;320:1007. doi: 10.1136/bmj.320.7240.1007. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Abraha I, Montedori A. Modified intention to treat reporting in randomised controlled trials: systematic review. BMJ. 2010;340:c2697. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c2697. - DOI - PMC - PubMed

Publication types

MeSH terms

Feedback