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Open Access Research article

Quality of reporting on randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation

Lixing Zhuang12, Jun He2*, Xun Zhuang2 and Liming Lu3

Author Affiliations

1 Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510405, China

2 Department of Acupuncture, First Affiliated Hospital, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510405, China

3 Faculty of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:151  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-151

Published: 7 May 2014

Abstract

Background

Results from clinical studies on acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation are contradictory. The reason for the inconsistent findings especially lie in the transparency and accuracy of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reports. This study aims to analyze the quality of reporting and its correlates in RCTs on acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation.

Methods

Quality of reporting for included papers was assessed against a subset of criteria adapted from the CONSORT 2010 statement and STRICTA. An overall quality score (OQS) and a combined key methodological index score (MIS) was calculated for each trial. Then, factors associated with OQS and MIS were identified.

Results

A total of 15 RCTs were included in full text. The median OQS based on the CONSORT statement and STRICTA was 8 and 12, respectively. The significant predictors for CONSORT OQS was funding source, for STRICTA was year of publication. With regard to the MIS, no variable was associated with improved methodological quality.

Conclusions

Our study found that the overall quality of reporting on RCTs of acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation was general or good. But some items’ reporting was found where information was insufficient or inadequate in most studies which needed substantial improvement.

Keywords:
Acupuncture; Quality of reporting; Randomized controlled trials (RCTs); Stroke rehabilitation; The CONSORT statement; STRICTA