Reporting of Design Features and Analysis Details in Randomized Clinical Trials of Procedural Treatments for Cancer Pain: An ACTTION Systematic Review

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Abstract

Background and Objectives

The objective of this study was to assess the reporting of randomized clinical trials investigating procedural treatments (eg, nerve blocks, targeted drug delivery) for cancer pain, with a focus on aspects that are particularly challenging in these trials.

Methods

This article presents results from a systematic review of reporting of randomized clinical trials of procedural interventions for cancer pain. Articles were identified by searching PubMed from 1966 to June 2014. Data related to quality of reporting are presented for early (1985–2004) and late periods (2005–2014).

Results

A total of 35 published trials were included. Approximately two-thirds of the articles clearly indicated the level of blinding. Only 26% reported a primary outcome measure. Less than half explicitly reported the number of patients who completed the trial, and only 1 reported a method that was used to accommodate missing data. Almost one-third of articles included a responder analysis, all of which specified the definition of a responder.

Conclusions

The goal of highlighting these deficiencies in reporting is to promote transparent reporting of details affecting the completion and interpretation of procedural cancer pain trials so that their quality can be more easily evaluated.

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