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Association between trial registration and treatment effect estimates: a meta-epidemiological study
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To increase transparency in research, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors required, in 2005, prospective registration of clinical trials as a condition to publication. However, many trials remain unregistered or retrospectively registered. We aimed to assess the association between trial prospective registration and treatment effect estimates. Methods This is a meta-epidemiological study based on all Cochrane reviews published between March 2011 and September 2014 with meta-analyses of a binary outcome including three or more randomised controlled trials published after 2006. We extracted trial general characteristics and results from the Cochrane reviews. For each trial, we searched for registration in the report’s full text, contacted the corresponding author if not reported and searched ClinicalTrials.gov and the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform in case of no response. We classified each trial as prospectively registered (i.e. registered before the start date); retrospectively registered, distinguishing trials registered before and after the primary completion date; and not registered. Treatment effect estimates of prospectively registered and other trials were compared by the ratio of odds ratio (ROR) (ROR <1 indicates larger effects in trials not prospectively registered). Results We identified 67 meta-analyses (322 trials). Overall, 225/322 trials (70 %) were registered, 74 (33 %) prospectively and 142 (63 %) retrospectively; 88 were registered before the primary completion date and 54 after. Unregistered or retrospectively registered trials tended to show larger treatment effect estimates than prospectively registered trials (combined ROR = 0.81, 95 % CI 0.65–1.02, based on 32 contributing meta-analyses). Trials unregistered or registered after the primary completion date tended to show larger treatment effect estimates than those registered before this date (combined ROR = 0.84, 95 % CI 0.71–1.01, based on 43 contributing meta-analyses). Conclusions Lack of trial prospective registration may be associated with larger treatment effect estimates.

Subject:
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
BMC Medicine
Author:
Agnès Dechartres
Carolina Riveros
Ignacio Atal
Isabelle Boutron
Philippe Ravaud
Date Added:
08/07/2020
Clinical trial registration and reporting: a survey of academic organizations in the United States
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Many clinical trials conducted by academic organizations are not published, or are not published completely. Following the US Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007, “The Final Rule” (compliance date April 18, 2017) and a National Institutes of Health policy clarified and expanded trial registration and results reporting requirements. We sought to identify policies, procedures, and resources to support trial registration and reporting at academic organizations. Methods We conducted an online survey from November 21, 2016 to March 1, 2017, before organizations were expected to comply with The Final Rule. We included active Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS) accounts classified by ClinicalTrials.gov as a “University/Organization” in the USA. PRS administrators manage information on ClinicalTrials.gov. We invited one PRS administrator to complete the survey for each organization account, which was the unit of analysis. Results Eligible organization accounts (N = 783) included 47,701 records (e.g., studies) in August 2016. Participating organizations (366/783; 47%) included 40,351/47,701 (85%) records. Compared with other organizations, Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) holders, cancer centers, and large organizations were more likely to participate. A minority of accounts have a registration (156/366; 43%) or results reporting policy (129/366; 35%). Of those with policies, 15/156 (11%) and 49/156 (35%) reported that trials must be registered before institutional review board approval is granted or before beginning enrollment, respectively. Few organizations use computer software to monitor compliance (68/366; 19%). One organization had penalized an investigator for non-compliance. Among the 287/366 (78%) accounts reporting that they allocate staff to fulfill ClinicalTrials.gov registration and reporting requirements, the median number of full-time equivalent staff is 0.08 (interquartile range = 0.02–0.25). Because of non-response and social desirability, this could be a “best case” scenario. Conclusions Before the compliance date for The Final Rule, some academic organizations had policies and resources that facilitate clinical trial registration and reporting. Most organizations appear to be unprepared to meet the new requirements. Organizations could enact the following: adopt policies that require trial registration and reporting, allocate resources (e.g., staff, software) to support registration and reporting, and ensure there are consequences for investigators who do not follow standards for clinical research.

Subject:
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
BMC Medicine
Author:
Anthony Keyes
Audrey Omar
Carrie Dykes
Daniel E. Ford
Diane Lehman Wilson
Evan Mayo-Wilson
G. Caleb Alexander
Hila Bernstein
James Heyward
Jesse Reynolds
Keren Dunn
Leah Silbert
M. E. Blair Holbein
Nidhi Atri
Niem-Tzu (Rebecca) Chen
Sarah White
Yolanda P. Davis
Date Added:
08/07/2020
Comparison of registered and published outcomes in randomized controlled trials: a systematic review
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Clinical trial registries can improve the validity of trial results by facilitating comparisons between prospectively planned and reported outcomes. Previous reports on the frequency of planned and reported outcome inconsistencies have reported widely discrepant results. It is unknown whether these discrepancies are due to differences between the included trials, or to methodological differences between studies. We aimed to systematically review the prevalence and nature of discrepancies between registered and published outcomes among clinical trials. Methods We searched MEDLINE via PubMed, EMBASE, and CINAHL, and checked references of included publications to identify studies that compared trial outcomes as documented in a publicly accessible clinical trials registry with published trial outcomes. Two authors independently selected eligible studies and performed data extraction. We present summary data rather than pooled analyses owing to methodological heterogeneity among the included studies. Results Twenty-seven studies were eligible for inclusion. The overall risk of bias among included studies was moderate to high. These studies assessed outcome agreement for a median of 65 individual trials (interquartile range [IQR] 25–110). The median proportion of trials with an identified discrepancy between the registered and published primary outcome was 31 %; substantial variability in the prevalence of these primary outcome discrepancies was observed among the included studies (range 0 % (0/66) to 100 % (1/1), IQR 17–45 %). We found less variability within the subset of studies that assessed the agreement between prospectively registered outcomes and published outcomes, among which the median observed discrepancy rate was 41 % (range 30 % (13/43) to 100 % (1/1), IQR 33–48 %). The nature of observed primary outcome discrepancies also varied substantially between included studies. Among the studies providing detailed descriptions of these outcome discrepancies, a median of 13 % of trials introduced a new, unregistered outcome in the published manuscript (IQR 5–16 %). Conclusions Discrepancies between registered and published outcomes of clinical trials are common regardless of funding mechanism or the journals in which they are published. Consistent reporting of prospectively defined outcomes and consistent utilization of registry data during the peer review process may improve the validity of clinical trial publications.

Subject:
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
BMC Medicine
Author:
Christopher W. Jones
Lukas G. Keil
Melissa C. Caughey
Timothy F. Platts-Mills
Wesley C. Holland
Date Added:
08/07/2020