Protocol for a systematic review of reporting standards of anaesthetic interventions in randomised controlled trials

Lucy Elliott*, Karen Coulman, Natalie S. Blencowe, Mahim Qureshi, Sethina Watson, Ronelle Mouton, Robert J. Hinchliffe

*Corresponding author for this work

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

1 Citation (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: There is significant variation in how anaesthesia is defined and reported in clinical research. This lack of standardisation complicates the interpretation of published evidence and planning of future clinical trials. This systematic review will assess the reporting of anaesthesia as an intervention in randomised controlled trials (RCT) against the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials for Non-Pharmacological Treatments (CONSORT-NPT) framework.

Methods and analysis: Online archives of the top six journals ranked by impact factor for anaesthesia and the top three general medicine and general surgery journals will be systematically hand searched over a 42-month time period to identify RCTs describing the use of anaesthetic interventions for any invasive procedure. All modes of anaesthesia and anaesthesia techniques will be included. All study data, including the type of anaesthetic intervention described, will be extracted in keeping with the CONSORT-NPT checklist. Descriptive statistics will be used to summarise general study details including types/modes of anaesthetic interventions, and reporting standards of the trials.

Ethics and dissemination: No ethical approval is required. The results will be used to inform a funding application to formally standardise general, local, regional anaesthesia and sedation for use in clinical research. The systematic review will be disseminated via peer-reviewed manuscript and conferences.
Original languageEnglish
Article number034372
Number of pages4
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2020


  • anaesthetics
  • protocols & guidelines
  • surgery


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