Describing deprescribing trials better: an elaboration of the CONSORT statement

J W Blom, C Muth, P Glasziou, J McCormack, R Perera, R K E Poortvliet, M E Numans, P Thürmann, U Thiem, S L Thio, M Van Driel, M Beyer, M Van den Akker, J A Knottnerus

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OBJECTIVE: To identify key features to be addressed in the reporting of deprescribing trials and to elaborate and explain CONSORT items in this regard.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: As a first step in a multi-stage process and based on a systematic review of deprescribing trials, we elaborated variation in design, intervention, and reporting of the included trials of the review. We identified items that were missed or insufficiently described, using the CONSORT and TIDieR checklists. The resulting list of items, which we considered relevant to be reported in deprescribing trials, were discussed in a single round Delphi exercise and subsequently in a full-day face-to-face meeting with an international panel of 14 experts. We agreed upon CONSORT items for further elaboration with regard to design and reporting of deprescribing trials.

RESULTS: We identified seven CONSORT items on trial design, participants, intervention, outcomes, flowchart, and harms, where the investigators of deprescribing trials should take into consideration specific aspects, such as whether or not to use placebo or how to inform participants.

CONCLUSION: This paper presents an elaboration to the CONSORT statement for the reporting of deprescribing trials. It may also support investigators in motivated design choices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Early online date22 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


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