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: Experts denounce clinical trials of unscientific, 'alternative' medicines

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0