How well do orthodontic RCTs comply with CONSORT guidelines?

Dima Mobarak, Jayne E Harrison, Sally Spencer

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To assess the changes in compliance with the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in four orthodontic journals. To assess whether reporting of randomization, concealment, and blinding has improved. Electronic hand searching was undertaken to identify orthodontic RCTs published in four orthodontic journals from January 2016 to June 2017 (T1) and from January 2019 to June 2020 (T2). The journals were the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics (AJO-DO), Angle Orthodontist (AO), European Journal of Orthodontics (EJO), and Journal of Orthodontics (JO). Each item on the CONSORT checklist was scored as either reported, not reported, or not applicable for each paper reporting an RCT. The study included 69 papers reporting an RCT published in T1 and 64 RCTs published in T2. The median CONSORT score in T1 was 48.7% (interquartile range [IQR] 27.6%, 68.6%) and 67% in T2 (IQR 43.9%, 79.5%). This increase was statistically significant (P = 0.001) and largely attributable to improved reporting in AO (P = 0.016) and EJO (P = 0.023). Reporting did not change significantly in AJO-DO (P = 0.13) or in JO (P = 1.0). Reporting of random allocation sequence generation (OR 2.09; 95% CI 1.01, 4.29) and concealment of allocation (OR 2.27%, 95% CI 1.12, 4.57) were significantly higher in T2 compared with T1. Reporting of blinding did not change significantly. Overall reporting of CONSORT items in reports of orthodontic RCTs published in the AJO-DO, AO, EJO, and JO, improved significantly from 2016-17 to 2019-20. This could be improved further by authors, journal referees, and editors adhering to the guidelines. [Abstract copyright: © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Orthodontic Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: [email protected].]
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Orthodontics
Early online date30 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 May 2023


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