Assessing reporting quality of randomized controlled trial abstracts in psychiatry: Adherence to CONSORT for abstracts: A systematic review

Seung Yeon Song, Boyeon Kim, Inhye Kim, Sungeun Kim, Minjeong Kwon, Changsu Han, Eunyoung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Reporting quality of randomized controlled trial (RCT) abstracts is important as readers often make their first judgments based on the abstracts. This study aims to assess the reporting quality of psychiatry RCT abstracts published before and after the release of Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials for Abstracts (CONSORT-A) guidelines. Methods: MEDLINE/PubMed search was conducted to identify psychiatric RCTs published during 2005–2007 (pre-CONSORT) and 2012–2014 (post-CONSORT). Two independent reviewers assessed abstracts using a 18-point overall quality score (OQS) based on the CONSORT-A guidelines. Linear regression analysis was conducted to analyze factors associated with reporting quality. Results: Among 1,927 relevant articles, 285 pre-CONSORT and 214 post-CONSORT psychiatric RCT abstracts were included for analysis. The mean OQS improved from 6.9 (range: 3–13; 95% confidence interval (CI): 6.7–7.2) to 8.2 (range: 4–16; 95% CI: 7.8–8.5) after the CONSORT-A guidelines. Despite improvement, methods of randomization, allocation concealment, and funding source remained to be insufficiently reported (<5%) even after the release of CONSORT-A. High-impact general medical journals, multicenter design, positive outcome, and structured abstracts were associated with better reporting quality. Conclusions: The reporting quality in psychiatric RCT abstracts, although improved, remains suboptimal. To improve reporting quality of psychiatry RCT abstracts, greater efforts by both investigators and journal editors are required to enhance better adherence to the CONSORT-A guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0187807
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Song et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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