PEPs - Clinical Quality and Evidence

Module 2 - Evidence

Improving the quality of evidence

It can be frustrating when you are trying to critically appraise an article, only to find that key information is missing. There have been a number of initiatives recently to try and improve the quality of published data. These include:


CONSORT - standards for reporting RCTs


SPIRIT - standards for designing RCTs


STROBE - standards for epidemiological studies


STARD - diagnostic accuracy testing


STREGA - standards for genetic association studies


PRISMA - standards for meta-analyses and systematic reviews


In September 2004, an international committee of medical journal editors agreed that they would only consider trials for publication if they had been registered before the enrolment of the first participant. This stops researchers from doing retrospective trawls of their data and publishing findings from small sub-group analyses.