Active implementation strategy of CONSORT adherence by a dental specialty journal improved randomized clinical trial reporting

J Clin Epidemiol. 2014 Sep;67(9):1044-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.04.001. Epub 2014 May 15.


Objective: To describe a novel CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) adherence strategy implemented by the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (AJO-DO) and to report its impact on the completeness of reporting of published trials.

Study design and setting: The AJO-DO CONSORT adherence strategy, initiated in June 2011, involves active assessment of randomized clinical trial (RCT) reporting during the editorial process. The completeness of reporting CONSORT items was compared between trials submitted and published during the implementation period (July 2011 to September 2013) and trials published between August 2007 and July 2009.

Results: Of the 42 RCTs submitted (July 2011 to September 2013), 23 were considered for publication and assessed for completeness of reporting, seven of which were eventually published. For all published RCTs between 2007 and 2009 (n = 20), completeness of reporting by CONSORT item ranged from 0% to 100% (Median = 40%, interquartile range = 60%). All published trials in 2011-2013, reported 33 of 37 CONSORT (sub) items. Four CONSORT 2010 checklist items remained problematic even after implementation of the adherence strategy: changes to methods (3b), changes to outcomes (6b) after the trial commenced, interim analysis (7b), and trial stopping (14b), which are typically only reported when applicable.

Conclusion: Trials published following implementation of the AJO-DO CONSORT adherence strategy completely reported more CONSORT items than those published or submitted previously.

Keywords: CONSORT; CONSORT compliance; CONSORT implementation; Dental journal; Orthodontics; Reporting of RCTs.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Journalism, Dental / standards*
  • Orthodontics*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*