Recommendation: Published methodological quality of randomized controlled trials does not reflect the actual quality assessed in protocols

Steve Simon

2016-09-28

Categories: Recommendation Tags: Systematic overviews

When evaluating a series of research articles, you often have to assess the quality of the individual papers based on the type of blinding, for example. What do you do if the paper does not discuss these items? I have usually advocated a “no news is bad news policy.” If a paper does not mention blinding, assume that no blinding was done. It seems reasonable, but the paper by Mhaskar et al provides empirical evidence that sometimes authors leave out information that would strengthen the credibility of their study. A similar paper is at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22424985

Rahul Mhaskar, Benjamin Djulbegovic, Anja Magazin, Heloisa P. Soares, and Ambuj Kumar. Published methodological quality of randomized controlled trials does not reflect the actual quality assessed in protocols.J Clin Epidemiol. 2012 Jun; 65(6): 602–609. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2011.10.016. Available at<U+00A0>https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3637913/