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. 2016 Sep;95(9):673-84.
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000467.

The Quality of Reporting of Abstracts in Physical Therapy Literature Is Suboptimal: Cross-Sectional, Bibliographic Analysis

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The Quality of Reporting of Abstracts in Physical Therapy Literature Is Suboptimal: Cross-Sectional, Bibliographic Analysis

Randy R Richter et al. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. .

Abstract

Objective: The quality of abstract reporting in physical therapy literature is unknown. The purpose of this study was to provide baseline data for judging the future impact of the 2010 Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials statement specifically referencing the 2008 Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials statement for reporting of abstracts of randomized controlled trials across and between a broad sample and a core sample of physical therapy literature.

Design: A cross-sectional, bibliographic analysis was conducted. Abstracts of randomized controlled trials from 2009 were retrieved from PubMed, PEDro, and CENTRAL. Eligibility was determined using PEDro criteria. For outcomes measures, items from the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials statement for abstract reporting were used for assessment. Raters were not blinded to citation details.

Results: Using a computer-generated set of random numbers, 150 abstracts from 112 journals comprised the broad sample. A total of 53 abstracts comprised the core sample. Fourteen of 20 Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials items for both samples were reported in less than 50% of the abstracts. Significantly more abstracts in the core sample reported (% difference core - broad; 95% confidence interval) title (28.4%; 12.9%-41.2%), blinding (15.2%; 1.6%-29.8%), setting (47.6%; 32.4%-59.4%), and confidence intervals (13.1%; 5.0%-25.1%).

Conclusions: These findings provide baseline data for determining if continuing efforts to improve abstract reporting are heeded.

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