Web-based Tool to Improve Reporting of Randomized Controlled Trials (WebCONSORT)

A

Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris

Status

Completed

Conditions

Randomized Controlled Trial

Treatments

Other: WebCONSORT tool
Other: Modified WebCONSORT tool

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other

Identifiers

NCT01891448
RAV008

Details and patient eligibility

About

The CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) Statement aims to improve the reporting of randomized trials. If trials are not well reported it is difficult for clinicians to use best evidence to inform clinical practice and patients may not get the best care. A number of different CONSORT extensions have been developed which specify additional information needed for more complex trials. The aim of this project is to evaluate whether using a simple web-based tool (WEBCONSORT) improves the reporting of clinical trials. The tool combines different CONSORT extensions and allows authors to obtain a checklist and flow diagram which is specific to their individual trial. In this study authors of participating journals are requested, at the manuscript revision stage, to use a web-based tool to improve the reporting of their randomized trial. Authors registering to use the tool are randomized to intervention or control. In the intervention group authors are directed to the WebCONSORT tool. In the control group, authors are directed to a different version of the WebCONSORT tool which includes the flow diagram part of the tool but not the main checklist or elements relating to CONSORT extensions. The aim is that this tool should lead to improvements in the reporting of randomized trials, making it easier for clinicians to read and interpret published findings.

Full description

The CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) Statement (www.consort-statement.org) is an evidence based guideline which aims to improve the reporting of randomized controlled trials. If trials are not well reported it is difficult for clinicians to use best evidence to inform clinical practice and patients may not get the best care. A number of different CONSORT extensions have been developed which specify additional information needed for more complex trials.We are conducting a multicentre randomized controlled trial to evaluate whether using a simple web-based tool (WebCONSORT) improves the completeness of reporting of clinical trials. To be eligible for inclusion in this study journals must publish reports of randomized trials and endorse the CONSORT Statement (e.g. refer to it on the journal website) but do not actively implement it (e.g. require authors to submit a completed CONSORT checklist at the time of manuscript submission. Participating journals ask authors to register their manuscript (at the revision stage of the manuscript) on the WebCONSORT website where he or she will be randomized into one of two groups (i.e. intervention and control). In the intervention group, authors will be directed to the WebCONSORT tool. The tool allows authors to combine different extensions relevant to their trial and generate a list of items and a flowchart specific to their trial design and the type of intervention tested. The checklist of items generated by the WebCONSORT tool should then be reported in the revised paper and the completed checklist and flow diagram submitted to the journal along with the revised manuscript.In the control group, authors will be directed to a different version of the WebCONSORT tool. This tool will include the flowchart part of the WEBCONSORT tool but not the main checklist or elements relating to CONSORT extensions. The primary outcome measure is the percentage of poorly reported methodological items in the submitted manuscript. Secondary outcomes include time spent on the WEBCONSORT website, rejection rate of studies, feedback from authors and compliance rate. It is anticipated that the web-based tool will lead to improvements in the reporting and transparency of trial findings, thus aiding their critical appraisal and interpretation by readers.

Enrollment

324 patients

Sex

All

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

Journals which publish reports of randomized trials and endorse the CONSORT Statement (e.g. refer to it on the journal website) but do not actively implement it (e.g. require authors to submit a completed CONSORT checklist at the time of manuscript submission).

Exclusion criteria

Journals which endorse the CONSORT Statement (e.g. refer to it on the journal website) and actively implement it (e.g. require authors to submit a completed CONSORT checklist at the time of manuscript submission).

Trial design

Primary purpose

Other

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Parallel Assignment

Masking

Single Blind

324 participants in 2 patient groups

WebCONSORT tool
Experimental group
Description:
This WebCONSORT tool allows authors to combine different extensions relevant to their trial and generate a list of items and a flowchart specific to their trial design and the type of intervention tested.
Treatment:
Other: WebCONSORT tool
Modified WebCONSORT tool
Other group
Description:
This tool will include the flowchart part of the WEBCONSORT tool but not the main checklist or elements relating to CONSORT extensions.
Treatment:
Other: Modified WebCONSORT tool

Trial contacts and locations

2

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Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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