Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.
Methodological quality assessment for traditional Chinese medicine: CONSORT is better†
Article first published online: 6 APR 2011
Copyright © 2010 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
Volume 53, Issue 6, pages 2148–2149, June 2011
How to Cite
Zheng, M.-H., Fan, Y.-C., Shi, K.-Q. and Chen, Y.-P. (2011), Methodological quality assessment for traditional Chinese medicine: CONSORT is better. Hepatology, 53: 2148–2149. doi: 10.1002/hep.24126
- Issue published online: 25 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 6 APR 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 13 DEC 2010 11:46AM EST
To the Editor:
We read the article by Zhang et al.1 with great interest. The authors assessed the methodological quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with the Jadad scoring system.2 However, we would like to comment on concerns that have been raised about the scoring system.
The assessment criterion adopted in the study is less comprehensive and outdated. Jadad scoring, though widely used in validating RCTs, has been attacked in recent years. Accumulating evidence suggests that Jadad scoring is flawed and overly simplistic, places too much emphasis on blinding, and has diminishing consistency with different raters.3, 4 Nowadays, the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement encompasses various initiatives developed by the CONSORT group to alleviate the problems arising from inadequate reporting of RCTs.5 It offers a standardized way of preparing reports of trial findings that facilitates accurate and transparent reporting with critical appraisal and interpretation. More and more highly cited academic journals, including HEPATOLOGY, have adopted the CONSORT statement for standardization and integrity. In China, CONSORT for TCM has been developed and widely adopted; it provides more specificity and sensitivity for the assessment of TCM methodological quality.6 Therefore, it would have been much better if the CONSORT standard, instead of Jadad scoring, had been used in this meta-analysis.
In summary, the methodological quality of the analysis needs to be reassessed.
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Ming-Hua Zheng M.D.*, Yu-Chen Fan M.D., Ke-Qing Shi M.D.*, Yong-Ping Chen M.D.*, * Liver Research Center, Department of Infection and Liver Diseases, First Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou, China, Department of Hepatology, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, China.