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10-year trend in quantity and quality of pediatric randomized controlled trials published in mainland China: 2002-2011.

Yang CS, Zhang LL, Zeng LN, Liang Y, Han L, Lin YZ - BMC Pediatr (2013)

Bottom Line: There was incomplete outcome data reported in 8.3%, of which 4.5% (4/89) used intention-to-treat analysis.In mainland China, the quantity of RCTs did not increase in the pediatric population, and the general quality was relatively poor.Quality improvements were suboptimal in the later 5 years.

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ABSTRACT

Background: Quality assessment of pediatric randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in China is limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate the quantitative trends and quality indicators of RCTs published in mainland China over a recent 10-year period.

Methods: We individually searched all 17 available pediatric journals published in China from January 1, 2002 to December 30, 2011 to identify RCTs of drug treatment in participants under the age of 18 years. The quality was evaluated according to the Cochrane quality assessment protocol.

Results: Of 1287 journal issues containing 44398 articles, a total of 2.4% (1077/44398) articles were included in the analysis. The proportion of RCTs increased from 0.28% in 2002 to 0.32% in 2011. Individual sample sizes ranged from 10 to 905 participants (median 81 participants); 2.3% of the RCTs were multiple center trials; 63.9% evaluated Western medicine, 32.5% evaluated traditional Chinese medicine; 15% used an adequate method of random sequence generation; and 10.4% used a quasi-random method for randomization. Only 1% of the RCTs reported adequate allocation concealment and 0.6% reported the method of blinding. The follow-up period was from 7 days to 96 months, with a median of 7.5 months. There was incomplete outcome data reported in 8.3%, of which 4.5% (4/89) used intention-to-treat analysis. Only 0.4% of the included trials used adequate random sequence allocation, concealment and blinding. The articles published from 2007 to 2011 revealed an improvement in the randomization method compared with articles published from 2002 to 2006 (from 2.7% to 23.6%, p = 0.000).

Conclusions: In mainland China, the quantity of RCTs did not increase in the pediatric population, and the general quality was relatively poor. Quality improvements were suboptimal in the later 5 years.

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Flow diagram showing selection of the trials.
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Figure 1: Flow diagram showing selection of the trials.

Mentions: After screening 44398 articles published in the 17 Chinese pediatric medical journals, a total of 1077 RCTs were included in the analysis (Figure 1). Over the 10-year period, the proportion of RCTs in mainland China increased from 0.28% in 2002 to 0.32% by 2011 (Figure 2). There was no significant increase in the number of RCTs conducted annually. Only 4.09% of the trials reported financial funding; however, we could not confirm that how many trials were sponsored by pharmaceutical companies because the information was not given. Individual study sample sizes ranged from 10 to 905 (median 81 participants). Only 0.6% (7/1077) of RCTs reported that calculation of sample size had been performed, and 2.3% (25/1077) of RCTs included multiple centers, with the number of participating centers ranging between two and ten. Nearly one-quarter (254/1077) of RCTs were conducted in teaching hospitals, 63.9% (688/1077) evaluated Western medicine, 32.5% (350/1077) evaluated traditional Chinese medicine, and 3.6% (39/1077) evaluated a combination of both traditional Chinese and Western medicine (Table 2). The top five categories of disease included respiratory (41.6%), neonatal (19.9%), digestive (14.7%), infection (5.7%), and neuromuscular (4.4%) diseases (Figure 3).


10-year trend in quantity and quality of pediatric randomized controlled trials published in mainland China: 2002-2011.

Yang CS, Zhang LL, Zeng LN, Liang Y, Han L, Lin YZ - BMC Pediatr (2013)

Flow diagram showing selection of the trials.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3750923&req=5

Figure 1: Flow diagram showing selection of the trials.
Mentions: After screening 44398 articles published in the 17 Chinese pediatric medical journals, a total of 1077 RCTs were included in the analysis (Figure 1). Over the 10-year period, the proportion of RCTs in mainland China increased from 0.28% in 2002 to 0.32% by 2011 (Figure 2). There was no significant increase in the number of RCTs conducted annually. Only 4.09% of the trials reported financial funding; however, we could not confirm that how many trials were sponsored by pharmaceutical companies because the information was not given. Individual study sample sizes ranged from 10 to 905 (median 81 participants). Only 0.6% (7/1077) of RCTs reported that calculation of sample size had been performed, and 2.3% (25/1077) of RCTs included multiple centers, with the number of participating centers ranging between two and ten. Nearly one-quarter (254/1077) of RCTs were conducted in teaching hospitals, 63.9% (688/1077) evaluated Western medicine, 32.5% (350/1077) evaluated traditional Chinese medicine, and 3.6% (39/1077) evaluated a combination of both traditional Chinese and Western medicine (Table 2). The top five categories of disease included respiratory (41.6%), neonatal (19.9%), digestive (14.7%), infection (5.7%), and neuromuscular (4.4%) diseases (Figure 3).

Bottom Line: There was incomplete outcome data reported in 8.3%, of which 4.5% (4/89) used intention-to-treat analysis.In mainland China, the quantity of RCTs did not increase in the pediatric population, and the general quality was relatively poor.Quality improvements were suboptimal in the later 5 years.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Quality assessment of pediatric randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in China is limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate the quantitative trends and quality indicators of RCTs published in mainland China over a recent 10-year period.

Methods: We individually searched all 17 available pediatric journals published in China from January 1, 2002 to December 30, 2011 to identify RCTs of drug treatment in participants under the age of 18 years. The quality was evaluated according to the Cochrane quality assessment protocol.

Results: Of 1287 journal issues containing 44398 articles, a total of 2.4% (1077/44398) articles were included in the analysis. The proportion of RCTs increased from 0.28% in 2002 to 0.32% in 2011. Individual sample sizes ranged from 10 to 905 participants (median 81 participants); 2.3% of the RCTs were multiple center trials; 63.9% evaluated Western medicine, 32.5% evaluated traditional Chinese medicine; 15% used an adequate method of random sequence generation; and 10.4% used a quasi-random method for randomization. Only 1% of the RCTs reported adequate allocation concealment and 0.6% reported the method of blinding. The follow-up period was from 7 days to 96 months, with a median of 7.5 months. There was incomplete outcome data reported in 8.3%, of which 4.5% (4/89) used intention-to-treat analysis. Only 0.4% of the included trials used adequate random sequence allocation, concealment and blinding. The articles published from 2007 to 2011 revealed an improvement in the randomization method compared with articles published from 2002 to 2006 (from 2.7% to 23.6%, p = 0.000).

Conclusions: In mainland China, the quantity of RCTs did not increase in the pediatric population, and the general quality was relatively poor. Quality improvements were suboptimal in the later 5 years.

Show MeSH