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Professional medical writing support improves the quality of clinical trial reporting

Professional medical writing support improves the quality of clinical trial reporting, according to a study presented at the 2015 European Meeting of ISMPP in January 2015. The research shows that the number of pieces of important trial information reported in medical journal articles almost doubles when medical writers are involved in writing up the study for publication.

The study used the widely valued CONSORT checklist to assess the quality of reporting of randomized controlled trials. Articles with medical writing support were significantly more likely to report at least 50% of CONSORT items completely than articles without writing support (39.1% vs 21.1% of articles; p < 0.05). As rated by peer reviewers, the proportion of articles with acceptable written English was higher in articles with medical writing support than in those without such support (79.6% vs 42.9%; p < 0.01).

Interestingly, however, the median time from submission to acceptance was longer for articles with medical writing support than for those without support (167 vs 136 days; p < 0.01).

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Medical writing

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