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OBJECTIVE: To describe, and explain the rationale for, the methods used and decisions made during development of the updated SPIRIT 2024 and CONSORT 2024 reporting guidelines. METHODS: We developed SPIRIT 2024 and CONSORT 2024 together to facilitate harmonisation of the two guidelines, and incorporated content from key extensions. We conducted a scoping review of comments suggesting changes to SPIRIT 2013 and CONSORT 2010, and compiled a list of other possible revisions based on existing SPIRIT and CONSORT extensions, other reporting guidelines and personal communications. From this, we generated a list of potential modifications or additions to SPIRIT and CONSORT, which we presented to stakeholders for feedback in an international online Delphi survey. The Delphi survey results were discussed at an online expert consensus meeting attended by 30 invited international participants. We then drafted the updated SPIRIT and CONSORT checklists and revised them based on further feedback from meeting attendees. RESULTS: We compiled 83 suggestions for revisions or additions to SPIRIT and/or CONSORT from the scoping review and 85 from other sources, from which we generated 33 potential changes to SPIRIT (n=5) or CONSORT (n=28). Of 465 participants invited to take part in the Delphi survey, 317 (68%) responded to Round 1, 303 (65%) to Round 2 and 290 (63%) to Round 3. Two additional potential checklist changes were added to the Delphi survey based on Round 1 comments. Overall, 14/35 (SPIRIT n=0; CONSORT n=14)) proposed changes reached the predefined consensus threshold (≥80% agreement), and participants provided 3,580 free-text comments. The consensus meeting participants agreed with implementing 11/14 of the proposed changes that reached consensus in the Delphi and supported implementing a further 4/21 changes (SPIRIT n=2; CONSORT n=2) that had not reached the Delphi threshold. They also recommended further changes to refine key concepts and for clarity. CONCLUSION: The forthcoming SPIRIT 2024 and CONSORT 2024 Statements will provide updated, harmonised guidance for reporting randomised controlled trial protocols and results, respectively. The simultaneous development of the SPIRIT and CONSORT checklists has been informed by current empirical evidence and extensive input from stakeholders. We hope that this report of the methods used will be helpful for developers of future reporting guidelines.

Original publication




Journal article


J clin epidemiol

Publication Date



CONSORT (CONsolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials), Randomized controlled trials, SPIRIT (Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials), reporting guidelines, reproducibility, trial protocols