Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) formulas are the major components of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) interventions. The general reporting quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of CHM formulas is disappointing, although CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) Statement extensions for herbal medicinal interventions and acupuncture interventions are available. A group of TCM clinical experts, methodologists, epidemiologists, and editors has developed this CONSORT Extension for CHM Formulas (CONSORT-CHM Formulas 2017) through a comprehensive process, including publication of the draft version, solicitation of comments, revision, and finalization.
The CONSORT 2010 Statement was extended by introducing the idea of TCM Pattern and the features of CHM formulas. One new checklist subitem, keywords, was added to facilitate indexing and data searching. Seven of the 25 CONSORT checklist items, namely title and abstract, background and objectives, participants, interventions, outcomes, generalizability, and interpretation, are now elaborated, and the explanation of harms specific to CHM formulas is revised. Illustrative examples and explanations are also provided. The group hopes that CONSORT-CHM Formulas 2017 can improve the reporting quality of RCTs of CHM formulas.