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Plastic Surgery Clinical Trial Reporting Needs Improvement

Not enough attention paid to consolidated standards of reporting

FRIDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The quantity and variety of plastic surgery randomized clinical trials is increasing and greater awareness of the CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement could improve trial quality, according to a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery.

Vasu Karri, M.R.C.S., of St. George's Hospital in London, U.K., conducted a study of 133 randomized clinical trials published in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, the British Journal of Plastic Surgery, and the Annals of Plastic Surgery between 1980 and 2004. They were assessed according to a 17-item checklist, which was derived from the CONSORT statement to determine the quality of reporting.

The most popular topic was anesthesia and analgesia, accounting for 23 (17.3 percent) of the studies. There was a wide variation in the quality of the studies. Only 17 trials (12.8 percent) stated the sample size and only 39 (29.3 percent) reported use of randomization methodology, 25 (18.8 percent) reported allocation concealment and 69 (51.9 percent) reported blind investigator/assessment. Only 45 (33.8 percent) reported the study limitations.

"Greater awareness and adherence to CONSORT will improve reporting," the author concludes. "It is our collective responsibility to continue conducting and reporting high-quality studies."

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