Eastman Dental Institute


Has the quality of reporting in periodontology changed in 14 years? A systematic review

25 October 2016

Journal of Clinical Periodontology

Quality of reporting randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in periodontology has been poor. Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials guidelines and an extension for non-pharmacologic trials (CONSORT-NPE), were introduced to aid in improving this.

The aim of this study was to assess the quality of reporting in periodontology, changes over the last 14 years, and adherence to CONSORT-NPE.

Randomized controlled trials in humans, published in three periodontal journals, from 2013 to 2015 were included. Our search was conducted through Medline, Embase and hand searching.

One hundred and seventy-three full-text articles were included. Two reviewers screened for reporting quality and found:

  • 84% of studies described randomization methods;
  • 74%  highlighted examiner blinding and
  • 87%  accounted for patients at study conclusion.
  • Patient and caregiver blinding was addressed in 50% and 50%  of studies respectively.
  • 64% described adequate allocation concealment.

Compared with Montenegro et al. (2002, Journal of Dental Research, 81, 866), improvements were seen in describing randomization, allocation concealment and caregiver masking.

  • 62% had detailed explanations of all treatments,
  • 88%  lacked protocols for adherence of caregivers’ to an intervention.
  • Only 17%described caregivers’ expertise and case volume.

Substantial improvements have occurred. Attention is required for statistical analysis of patient losses and masking. CONSORT-NPE aspects were poorly reported.

We would encourage oral health journals to both include the current range of CONSORT statements and raise awareness of what these offer to the academic community.

Read the full paper