CONSORT for reporting randomized controlled trials in journal and conference abstracts: Explanation and elaboration

Sally Hopewell, Mike Clarke, David Moher, Elizabeth Wager, Philippa Middleton, Douglas G. Altman, Kenneth F. Schulz, Virginia Babour, Jesse Berlin, Isabelle Boutron, Denis Diderot, D. J. Devereaux, Kay Dickersin, Diana Elbourne, Susan Ellenberg, Val Gebski, Steven Goodman, Peter C. Gøtzsche, Trish Groves, Steven GrunbergBrian Haynes, Astrid James, Peter Juhn, Don Minckle, Victor M. Montori, Cynthia Mulro, Stuart Pocock, Drummond Rennie, David Schriger, I. Iveta Simera

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Clear, transparent, and sufficiently detailed abstracts of conferences and journal articles related to randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are important, because readers often base their assessment of a trial solely on information in the abstract. Here, we extend the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) Statement to develop a minimum list of essential items, which authors should consider when reporting the results of a RCT in any journal or conference abstract. Methods and Findings: We generated a list of items from existing quality assessment tools and empirical evidence. A three-round, modified-Delphi process was used to select items. In all, 109 participants were invited to participate in an electronic survey; the response rate was 61%. Survey results were presented at a meeting of the CONSORT Group in Montebello, Canada, January 2007, involving 26 participants, including clinical trialists, statisticians, epidemiologists, and biomedical editors. Checklist items were discussed for eligibility into the final checklist. The checklist was then revised to ensure that it reflected discussions held during and subsequent to the meeting. CONSORT for Abstracts recommends that abstracts relating to RCTs have a structured format. Items should include details of trial objectives; trial design (e. g., method of allocation, blinding/masking); trial participants (i. e., description, numbers randomized, and number analyzed); interventions intended for each randomized group and their impact on primary efficacy outcomes and harms; trial conclusions; trial registration name and number; and source of funding. We recommend the checklist be used in conjunction with this explanatory document, which includes examples of good reporting, rationale, and evidence, when available, for the inclusion of each item. Conclusions: CONSORT for Abstracts aims to improve reporting of abstracts of RCTs published in journal articles and conference proceedings. It will help authors of abstracts of these trials provide the detail and clarity needed by readers wishing to assess a trial's validity and the applicability of its results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-232
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Chinese Integrative Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 15 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Abstracts
  • Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials
  • Journal article
  • Randomized controlled trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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