OBJECTIVES: The main aims of this metaresearch study conducted among high-impact rehabilitation journals were: 1) to evaluate if the use of reporting guidelines (RGs) was declared and 2) to categorize the declared use as appropriate or inappropriate.
STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional analysis of a random sample of 200 studies published in the period 2010-2019 in five generic rehabilitation journals with the highest 5-year impact factor. Randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, observational studies, and diagnostic studies were included. Prevalence with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) was estimated for the main outcomes.
RESULTS: Among the 200 selected studies, 17.5% (95% CI: 12.2-22.8%) declared using RGs. Among these studies, 48.6% (95% CI: 32-65.1%) declared an appropriate use. There was an increasing trend over time for authors to report the use of RGs (OR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.13-1.53). Systematic reviews (n = 54) reported more frequently the use of RGs than other study designs (35.2%).
CONCLUSION: In high-impact rehabilitation journals, a small minority of article authors declared the use of RGs. In approximately half of these studies, RGs were used inappropriately. There is an urgent need to improve the use of RGs in this field of research.
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data
- Periodicals as Topic
- Research Design
- Research Report/standards