Completeness of the reporting of evidence-based practice educational interventions: A review

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Abstract

Context
Complete reporting of intervention details in trials of evidence-based practice (EBP) educational interventions is essential to enable clinical educators to translate research evidence about interventions that have been shown to be effective into practice. In turn, this will improve the quality of EBP education.
Objectives
This study was designed to examine the completeness of reporting of EBP educational interventions in published studies and to assess whether missing details of educational interventions could be retrieved by searching additional sources and contacting study authors.
Methods
A systematic review of controlled trials that had evaluated EBP educational interventions was conducted using a citation analysis technique. Forward and backward citations of the index articles were tracked until March 2016. The TIDieR (template for intervention description and replication) checklist was used to assess the completeness of intervention reporting. Missing details were sought from: (i) the original publication; (ii) additional publicly available sources, and (iii) the study authors.
Results
Eighty-three articles were included; 45 (54%) were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and 38 (46%) were non-RCTs. The majority of trials (n = 62, 75%) involved medical professionals. None of the studies completely reported all of the main items of the educational intervention within the original publication or in additional sources. However, details became complete for 17 (20%) interventions after contact with the respective authors. The item most frequently missing was ‘intervention materials’, which was missing in 80 (96%) of the original publications, in additional sources for 77 (93%) interventions, and in 59 (71%) studies after contact with the authors. Authors of 69 studies were contacted; 33 provided the details requested.
Conclusions
The reporting of EBP educational interventions is incomplete and remained so for the majority of studies, even after study authors had been contacted for missing information. Collaborative efforts involving authors and editors are required to improve the completeness of reporting of EBP educational interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Education
Volume52
Issue number2
Early online date2 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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