Reporting results in manual therapy clinical trials: A need for improvement

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2021

Profesor Guía

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Elsevier

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Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios en Salud (CIESAL)

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Resumen

Background. The number of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) for manual therapy (MT) has increased exponentially in recent years but the quality of reporting is heterogeneous. Objective. To assess the quality of the reporting of results in RCTs manual therapy, both in the text and in the graphs. Study design. Methodological review. Methods. We reviewed a random sample of 120 RCTs in MT published between 2000 and 2020 in indexed journals. We identified the primary outcome for each trial, and evaluated the completeness and correctness of reporting of results in the text and in the graphs. Results. Forty per cent of the RCTs explicitly identified the primary outcome and 47.5% reported a sample size calculation. In 46.7% of the trials, the reporting of between groups comparisons was complete (including effect size and precision). Only 29.2% used the confidence interval as a measure of precision. Fifty-eight per cent of the trials reported significant differences in the results, and 30.8% reported a value of clinical relevance for at least one variable of the study. Forty-seven per cent reported the primary outcome graphically but only 19.6% of the graphs were self explanatory and 66.1% had problems of visual clarity. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that the reporting of the results in MT trials is generally incomplete and graphics are often poor. These shortcomings could affect the interpretation of the results and their application in clinical practice. Improvements are needed in the reporting of results in order to advance clinical practice and research in manual therapy.

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CONSORT, MANUAL THERAPY, REPORTING, P VALUES, RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS

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