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Keywords:

  • data quality;
  • randomized controlled trial;
  • research design

Abstract

Aims

To assess the quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in Neurourology and Urodynamics (NAU) by using three types of analytical tools.

Methods

MEDLINE was used to extract RCTs from original articles published in the NAU from 1993 to 2012. The relationship between the number of articles and RCTs with time and that between various factors and the quality of RCTs were analyzed. To analyze the quality of the RCTs, the time period was divided into four sections and three tools were applied (e.g., the Jadad scale, van Tulder scale, and Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias Tool [CCRBT]).

Results

Among the 1,957 original articles, 93 (4.75%) were RCTs. The ratio between the number of NAU and RCTs over time increased. The Jadad score for years 1993–1997 was 3.25 ± 1.71, 1998–2002 was 2.10 ± 0.74, 2003–2007 was 2.09 ± 1.12, and 2008–2012 was 2.80 ± 1.09 (P = 0.014). The van Tulder scales were 6.25 ± 3.10, 4.40 ± 1.65, 4.97 ± 1.99, and 5.93 ± 1.98, respectively (P = 0.055). The CCRBT identified a low risk of bias in 1 (25%), 0 (0%), 1 (2.86%), and 5 (11.36%) articles, respectively. Trials with allocation concealment, Institutional review board (IRB) approval, and blinded studies had significantly higher quality than others.

Conclusions

The quantitative increase of RCT presented in NAU over time was observed but there was no definite qualitative improvement. Effort is required to improve the quality of RCTs published in NAU from the design step. Neurourol. Urodynam. 33:472–474, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.