Declaration of use and appropriate use of reporting guidelines in high-impact rehabilitation journals is limited: a meta-research study

Tiziano Innocenti*, Stefano Salvioli, Silvia Giagio, Daniel Feller, Nino Cartabellotta, Alessandro Chiarotto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of clinical epidemiology
Volume131
Early online date21 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Meta-research
  • Physiotherapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Reporting guideline
  • Research reporting
  • Systematic reviews

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