Professional medical writing support and the reporting quality of randomized controlled trial abstracts among high-impact general medical journals

Ira Mills, Catherine Sheard, Meredith Hays, Kevin Douglas, Christopher C Winchester, William T Gattrell

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

2 Citations (Scopus)
145 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: In articles reporting randomized controlled trials, professional medical writing support is associated with increased adherence to Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT). We set out to determine whether professional medical writing support was also associated with improved adherence to CONSORT for Abstracts. 

Methods: Using data from a previously published cross-sectional study of 463 articles reporting randomized controlled trials published between 2011 and 2014 in five top medical journals, we determined the association between professional medical writing support and CONSORT for Abstracts items using a Wilcoxon rank-sum test. 

Results: The mean proportion of adherence to CONSORT for Abstracts items reported was similar with and without professional medical writing support (64.3% vs 66.5%, respectively; p=0.30). Professional medical writing support was associated with lower adherence to reporting study setting (relative risk [RR]; 0.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23-0.70), and higher adherence to disclosing harms/side effects (RR 2.04; 95% CI, 1.37-3.03) and funding source (RR 1.75; 95% CI, 1.18-2.60). 

Conclusions: Although professional medical writing support was not associated with increased overall adherence to CONSORT for Abstracts, important aspects were improved with professional medical writing support, including reporting of adverse events and funding source. This study identifies areas to consider for improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1489
Number of pages13
JournalF1000Research
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • funding source
  • adverse events
  • adherence
  • abstracts
  • CONSORT guidelines
  • medical writing
  • randomized controlled trials

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Professional medical writing support and the reporting quality of randomized controlled trial abstracts among high-impact general medical journals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this