Accurate and thorough reporting of clinical trials evaluating healthcare interventions is essential for maintaining the integrity of scientific research. It also ensures that the work can be repeated, and the intervention translated into clinical practice, where necessary. Guidance, including the TIDieR checklist and the CONSORT extension for reporting of non-pharmacological treatment interventions, has been developed to address some of the inadequacies of past reporting, particularly with regards to methodological issues.
In a recent blog, Dr Louise Jones and Dr Bridget Candy describe the results of their group’s study comparing reporting before (2002–2007) and after (2010–2015) the introduction of the CONSORT extension. The authors used a 19-item checklist, based on TIDieR and the CONSORT extension, to evaluate reporting quality in studies of drug adherence strategies, including the level of detail used to describe interventions. They found that while over 80% of the trials investigated (n=176) included 9 out of 19 items, there was no evidence of an improvement between the two 5-year periods. The group concludes that more journals need to endorse the reporting guidelines and ensure that authors adhere to them.