Dovelopment of a tool to rate the quality assessment of randomized controlled trials using a Delphi technique*

Authors

  • Fahera Sindhu BSc PGCEMSc DPhil,

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Methodologist, The National Audit Office, London, England
      Dr Fahera Sindhu, Research Methodologist, The National Audit Office, 157-197 Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria, London SW1 9SP UK.
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  • Lucy Carpenter BSc MSc PhD,

    1. Lecturer in Statistical Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Oxford, England
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  • Kate Seers BSSc RGN PhD

    1. Senior Research Fellow, Royal College of Nursing Institute, Oxford, England
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  • *

    Research conducted whilst at the Royal College of Nursing Institute, Oxford and Department of Public Health, University of Oxford. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors.

Dr Fahera Sindhu, Research Methodologist, The National Audit Office, 157-197 Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria, London SW1 9SP UK.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to develop a quality of study tool to rates the methodological quality of individual primary randomized controlled trials (RCT) to be included in a meta-analysis. A Delphi-technique using several rounds of questions to seek consensus, among trialists, on criteria important in a RCT was used. Eight trialists formed the Delphi panel. The developed quality of study tool consisted of 53 items in 15 dimensions. The tool was tested for reliability and validity. Unlike many other quality assessment tools, the developed tool may be used to rate numerically each primary study. This is important in reviews or in meta-analyses where one objectives may be to ascertain whether those studies of a higher quality exhibit different results to reviewing studies of lower quality. The tool needs further testing.

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