Developing guidelines for better reporting of health research

Feb 16, 2010

A paper published in this week's issue of PLoS Medicine provides a substantial new resource for the developers of guidelines of the reporting of health research. The authors of the paper have been key in the development of many of the most important health research guidelines published over the past few years, including the CONSORT guidelines for clinical trials and the PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews.

The accurate reporting of a study is key to the understanding of the importance of the study. Before the development of CONSORT, for example, there was no consensus on what must be reported in order for a reader to accurately assess the validity of a trial. Hence, even such important items such as method of randomization and the primary outcome of the trial were routinely left out, leading to studies being reported in a misleading fashion.

The authors of this report are part of a larger group of experts who have for many years been advocating for, and producing aimed at the improvement of reporting of health research. The importance of these guidelines is now increasingly recognized by the wider research community, and, moreover, they are increasingly required by journals. In addition to individual guidelines this group has also spearheaded the development of an overarching network, the EQUATOR Network, which contains most of the currently developed guidelines - http://www.equator-network.org/. This paper represents a further effort to promote better reporting" As the authors note "If reporting guidelines are to be useful and more widely disseminated, they need to be developed using robust and widely accepted methodologies.

Explore further: Applying visual techniques to med school lessons

More information: Moher D, Schulz KF, Simera I, Altman DG (2010) Guidance for Developers of Health Research Reporting Guidelines. PLoS Med 7(2): e1000217.doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000217

Related Stories

New guidelines will help detect and study counterfeit medicines

Mar 24, 2009

New guidelines proposed by a group of international experts will help better study the prevalence and geography of counterfeit and other poor quality medicines that threaten public health across the world. The guidelines—called ...

Reviewers agree on osteoarthritis of the knee

Dec 06, 2007

Concerns over the cardiovascular safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) led to the publication of several sets of fresh guidelines on the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. But a review of these guidelines, ...

Recommended for you

European court to rule on right-to-die case

18 hours ago

Europe's human rights court will on June 5 rule on whether a man in a vegetative state can be taken off life support, a case that has ignited a fierce euthanasia debate in France, a spokesman said Thursday.

Mechanical ventilation associated with long-term disability

May 19, 2015

Critically ill patients who have been mechanically ventilated for more than seven days are at greatly increased risk for functional impairment and mortality at one year following discharge from the intensive care unit (ICU), ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.