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cancer, clinical nursing research, CONSORT, randomized controlled trial



  1. Guo, Jia-Wen
  2. Sward, Katherine A.
  3. Beck, Susan L.
  4. Staggers, Nancy


Background: Results of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) provide high-level evidence for evidence-based practice (EBP). The quality of RCTs has a substantial influence on providing reliable knowledge for EBP. Little is known about the quality of RCT reporting in cancer nursing.


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the quality of reporting in published cancer nursing RCTs from 1984 to 2010.


Methods: A total of 227 RCTs in cancer nursing published in English-language journals and indexed in PubMed or Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature were reviewed using the Jadad scale, key methodologic index (KMI), and the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) checklist to assess the quality of reporting methodological aspects of research and the overall quality of reporting RCTs.


Results: Adherence to reporting metrics was relatively low, based on the Jadad score (M = 1.94 out of 5, SD = 1.01), KMI scores (M = 0.84 out of 3, SD = .87), and adherence to CONSORT checklist items (M =16.92 out of 37, SD = 4.03). Only 11 of 37 items in the CONSORT checklist were reported in 80% or more of the studies reviewed. The quality of reporting showed some improvement over time.


Discussion: Adherence to reporting metrics for cancer nursing RCTs was suboptimal, and further efforts are needed to improve both methodology reporting and overall reporting. Journals are encouraged to adopt the CONSORT checklist to influence the quality of RCT reports.