A systematic review of reporting quality for anaesthetic interventions in randomised controlled trials

Lucy Elliott*, Karen D Coulman, Natalie S Blencowe, Mahim I Qureshi, Keng Siang Lee, Robert J Hinchliffe, Ronelle Mouton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Interventions from randomised controlled trials can only be replicated if they are reported in sufficient detail. The results of trials can only be confidently interpreted if the delivery of the intervention was systematic and the protocol adhered to. We systematically reviewed trials of anaesthetic interventions published in 12 journals from January 2016 to September 2019. We assessed the detail with which interventions were reported, using the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials statement for non‐pharmacological treatments. We analysed 162 interventions reported by 78 trials in 18,675 participants. Detail sufficiently precise to replicate the intervention was reported for 111 (69%) interventions. Intervention standardisation was reported for 135 (83%) out of the 162 interventions, and protocol adherence was reported for 20 (12%) interventions. Sixty (77%) out of the 78 trials reported the administrative context in which interventions were delivered and 36 (46%) trials detailed the expertise of the practitioners. We conclude that bespoke reporting tools should be developed for anaesthetic interventions and interventions in other areas such as critical care.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Early online date5 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Nov 2020


  • adherence
  • protocols and guidelines
  • randomised controlled trials
  • reporting standards
  • standardisation


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