Author(s): Krzyzanowska MK, Pintilie M, BrezdenMasley C, Dent R, Tannock IF
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Abstract PURPOSE: To evaluate the quality of reporting in abstracts describing randomized controlled trials (RCTs) included in the Proceedings of American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meetings and to propose reporting guidelines for abstracts that are submitted to future meetings. METHODS: Guidelines for reporting of RCTs in abstracts were developed by extracting key elements from published guidelines for full reports of RCTs, and modified based on an expert survey. Abstracts presenting results of RCTs with sample size > or = 200 were identified from the ASCO Proceedings for the years 1989 to 1998. Information regarding the quality of each abstract was extracted, and a quality score (possible range, 0 to 10) was assigned based on adherence to the guidelines. RESULTS: Brief description of the intervention, explicit identification of the primary end point, and presentation of results accompanied by statistical tests were regarded by experts as the most important items to include in an abstract, whereas presentation of secondary and subgroup analyses was the least important. Deficiencies in reporting were present in almost all of the 510 abstracts; for example, only 22\% of the abstracts provided explicit identification of the primary end point. The median quality score was 5.5 (range, 2.0 to 8.5); the quality score improved with time (P <.0001) and was better for oral or plenary presentations (P =.0003). CONCLUSION: The quality of reporting of RCTs in abstracts submitted to Annual Meetings of ASCO is suboptimal. Although space precludes the inclusion of details required in the final report, abstracts could be improved through the use of explicit minimal guidelines, which are suggested in this article.
This article was published in J Clin Oncol
and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy