INTRODUCTION Optimal reporting of randomized trials and abstracts enhances transparency and facilitates assessment and identification of trials. The purpose of this study was to investigate the quality of reporting of abstracts of randomized controlled trials published in orthodontic journals. METHODS Electronic searches with supplementary hand searching to identify randomized controlled trials in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, the Angle Orthodontist, the European Journal of Orthodontics, and the Journal of Orthodontics from 2006 to 2011 were undertaken. The completeness of abstract reporting was evaluated with a modified CONSORT for abstracts statement checklist. The data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics followed by univariate and multivariate examinations of statistical associations (P = 0.05). RESULTS Abstracts of 117 randomized controlled trials were identified and assessed. Most were published in either the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (53%) or the Angle Orthodontist (23%); most abstracts (85.5%) were structured. The mean overall reporting quality score was 60.2%. In relation to individual quality items, most abstracts demonstrated clear reporting of interventions (97.4%), objectives (93.2%), and number of participants randomized (95.7%). Insufficient reporting of randomization procedures, allocation concealment, blinding, and failure to report confidence intervals and harms were almost universal. Registrations of randomized controlled trials and sources of funding were not reported in any of the identified abstracts. The highest reporting score was noted in the Journal of Orthodontics (66%; 95% confidence interval, 63.5-68.7). CONCLUSIONS The quality of reporting of abstracts of randomized controlled trials in orthodontic journals is suboptimal. In view of the primacy of research abstracts, efforts should be made to improve their reporting.
P. Fleming, Niamh Buckley, J. Seehra
American journal of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics : official publication of the American Association of Orthodontists, its constituent societies, and the American Board of Orthodontics