Comprehensive reporting of clinical trials is essential to allow the trial reader to evaluate the methodological rigor of the trial and interpret the results. Since publication of the updated Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines for reporting of parallel clinical trials in humans, extensions for reporting of abstracts and crossover trials have been published.
To describe the types of trials using dogs and cats published from 2015 to 2020 and to evaluate the quality of reporting of a sample of recently published parallel and crossover trials.
A comprehensive search was conducted to identify parallel or crossover design clinical trials using dogs and cats published from January 1, 2015 onwards. Quality of reporting was evaluated on a subset of trials published during 2019. The reporting of items recommended in the CONSORT reporting guidelines for abstracts, parallel trials, and crossover trials was evaluated independently by 2 reviewers using standardized forms created for this study. Disagreements among reviewers were resolved by consensus. Results were tabulated descriptively.
The frequency of reporting of trial features varied from low to high. There remain deficiencies in the quality of reporting of key methodological features and information needed to evaluate and interpret trial results.
Conclusions and Clinical Importance
There is still a need for authors, peer-reviewers, and editors to follow reporting guidelines such as CONSORT to maximize the value of clinical trials and to increase confidence in the validity of the trial results.