Evidence shows that the quality of reporting of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) is not optimal. The lack of transparent reporting impedes readers from judging the reliability and validity of trial findings and researchers from extracting information for systematic reviews and results in research waste. The Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement was developed to improve the reporting of RCTs. Within person trials are used for conditions that can affect two or more body sites, and are a useful and efficient tool because the comparisons between interventions are within people. Such trials are most commonly conducted in ophthalmology, dentistry, and dermatology. The reporting of within person trials has, however, been variable and incomplete, hindering their use in clinical decision making and by future researchers. This document presents the CONSORT extension to within person trials. It aims to facilitate the reporting of these trials. It extends 16 items of the CONSORT 2010 checklist and introduces a modified flowchart and baseline table to enhance transparency. Examples of good reporting and evidence based rationale for CONSORT within person checklist items are provided.
The british journal of dermatology
University of Bern, Medical Faculty, School of Dental Medicine, Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Bern, Switzerland.