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Reporting of analyses from randomized controlled trials with multiple arms: a systematic review.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Multiple-arm randomized trials can be more complex in their design, data analysis, and result reporting than two-arm trials. We conducted a systematic review to assess the reporting of analyses in reports of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with multiple arms. METHODS: The literature in the MEDLINE database was searched for reports of RCTs with multiple arms published in 2009 in the core clinical journals. Two reviewers extracted data using a standardized extraction form. RESULTS: In total, 298 reports were identified. Descriptions of the baseline characteristics and outcomes per group were missing in 45 reports (15.1%) and 48 reports (16.1%), respectively. More than half of the articles (n = 171, 57.4%) reported that a planned global test comparison was used (that is, assessment of the global differences between all groups), but 67 (39.2%) of these 171 articles did not report details of the planned analysis. Of the 116 articles reporting a global comparison test, 12 (10.3%) did not report the analysis as planned. In all, 60% of publications (n = 180) described planned pairwise test comparisons (that is, assessment of the difference between two groups), but 20 of these 180 articles (11.1%) did not report the pairwise test comparisons. Of the 204 articles reporting pairwise test comparisons, the comparisons were not planned for 44 (21.6%) of them. Less than half the reports (n = 137; 46%) provided baseline and outcome data per arm and reported the analysis as planned. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight discrepancies between the planning and reporting of analyses in reports of multiple-arm trials.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-00809311
Contributor : Ed. Bmc <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 8, 2013 - 9:04:27 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 11:16:31 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, April 3, 2017 - 2:35:00 AM

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Gabriel Baron, Elodie Perrodeau, Isabelle Boutron, Philippe Ravaud. Reporting of analyses from randomized controlled trials with multiple arms: a systematic review.. BMC Medicine, BioMed Central, 2013, 11 (1), pp.84. ⟨10.1186/1741-7015-11-84⟩. ⟨inserm-00809311⟩

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