The quality of reporting RCT abstracts in four major orthodontics journals for the period 2012–2017

Fahad Alharbi, Mohammed Almuzian

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Clear reporting of the abstracts of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) facilitates the assessment and identification of such trials. Aim: To assess whether authors in the orthodontic field of research currently report RCT abstracts adequately, as defined by the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement. Design: An observational retrospective study. Methods: Electronic searches with supplementary hand searching were undertaken to identify RCTs published in (1) American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (AJO-DO), (2) Angle Orthodontist (AO), (3) European Journal of Orthodontics (EJO) and (4) Journal of Orthodontics (JO) for the period from January 2012 to December 2017. The completeness of the abstract reporting was evaluated using a modified CONSORT for abstract statement checklist. Results: A total of 3678 articles were retrieved, but only 224 RCT abstracts were identified and assessed. A high volume of RCTs were published with either the AO (39%) or AJO-DO (32%); the majority of the RCT abstracts (93.6%) were structured. The mean overall abstract reporting quality score was 69.1% (95% confidence interval = 67.5–70.7). In relation to individual quality items, the majority of the RCT abstracts (range = 96–100%) demonstrated clear reporting of the author/contact details, trial design, participants, interventions, objectives, outcomes, number of participants randomised to each group, recruitment, results and conclusions. However, reporting of the title, trial registration, funding and number of analysed participants were only moderately adequate and reporting of the assessment of blinding and adverse events were the least-reported items in the identified abstracts. Conclusions: As several CONSORT reporting items were poorly reported, it is the responsibility of authors, referees and editors alike to ensure that the CONSORT guidelines are followed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-234
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Orthodontics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • abstracts
  • evidence-based dentistry
  • orthodontics
  • randomised clinical trials


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