CONSORT Item Reporting Quality in the Top Ten Ranked Journals of Critical Care Medicine in 2011: A Retrospective Analysis
Reporting randomised controlled trials is a key element in order to disseminate research findings. The CONSORT statement was introduced to improve the reporting quality. We assessed the adherence to the CONSORT statement of randomised controlled trials published 2011 in the top ten ranked journals of critical care medicine (ISI Web of Knowledge 2011, Thomson Reuters, London UK).
Design. We performed a retrospective cross sectional data analysis. Setting. This study was executed at the University Hospital of RWTH, Aachen. Participants. We selected the following top ten listed journals according to ISI Web of Knowledge (Thomson Reuters, London, UK) critical care medicine ranking in the year 2011: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Intensive Care Medicine, CHEST, Critical Care, Journal of Neurotrauma, Resuscitation, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Shock and Minerva Anestesiologica. Main outcome measures. We screened the online table of contents of each included journal, to identify the randomised controlled trials. The adherence to the items of the CONSORT Checklist in each trial was evaluated. Additionally we correlated the citation frequency of the articles and the impact factor of the respective journal with the amount of reported items per trial.
We analysed 119 randomised controlled trials and found, 15 years after the implementation of the CONSORT statement, that a median of 61,1% of the checklist-items were reported. Only 55.5% of the articles were identified as randomised trials in their titles. The citation frequency of the trials correlated significantly (rs = 0,433; p<0,001 and r = 0,331; p<0,001) to the CONSORT statement adherence. The impact factor showed also a significant correlation to the CONSORT adherence (r = 0,386; p<0,001).
The reporting quality of randomised controlled trials in the field of critical care medicine remains poor and needs considerable improvement.