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INTRODUCTION: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) may use surrogate endpoints as substitutes and predictors of patient-relevant/participant-relevant final outcomes (eg, survival, health-related quality of life). Translation of effects measured on a surrogate endpoint into health benefits for patients/participants is dependent on the validity of the surrogate; hence, more accurate and transparent reporting on surrogate endpoints is needed to limit misleading interpretation of trial findings. However, there is currently no explicit guidance for the reporting of such trials. Therefore, we aim to develop extensions to the SPIRIT (Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials) and CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) reporting guidelines to improve the design and completeness of reporting of RCTs and their protocols using a surrogate endpoint as a primary outcome. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The project will have four phases: phase 1 (literature reviews) to identify candidate reporting items to be rated in a Delphi study; phase 2 (Delphi study) to rate the importance of items identified in phase 1 and receive suggestions for additional items; phase 3 (consensus meeting) to agree on final set of items for inclusion in the extensions and phase 4 (knowledge translation) to engage stakeholders and disseminate the project outputs through various strategies including peer-reviewed publications. Patient and public involvement will be embedded into all project phases. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has received ethical approval from the University of Glasgow College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences Ethics Committee (project no: 200210051). The findings will be published in open-access peer-reviewed publications and presented in conferences, meetings and relevant forums.

Original publication




Journal article


Bmj open

Publication Date





general medicine (see internal medicine), protocols & guidelines, public health, statistics & research methods, Consensus, Humans, Publications, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Research Design, Research Report, Treatment Outcome