BACKGROUND: Telehealth-delivered dietary interventions are effective for chronic disease management and are an emerging area of clinical practice. However, to apply interventions from the research setting in clinical practice, health professionals need details of each intervention component.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the completeness of intervention reporting in published dietary chronic disease management trials that used telehealth delivery methods.
METHODS: Eligible randomized controlled trial publications were identified through a systematic review. The completeness of reporting of experimental and comparison interventions was assessed by two independent assessors using the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR) checklist that consists of 12 items including intervention rationale, materials used, procedures, providers, delivery mode, location, when and how much intervention delivered, intervention tailoring, intervention modifications, and fidelity. Where reporting was incomplete, further information was sought from additional published material and through email correspondence with trial authors.
RESULTS: Within the 37 eligible trials, there were 49 experimental interventions and 37 comparison interventions. One trial reported every TIDieR item for their experimental intervention. No publications reported every item for the comparison intervention. For the experimental interventions, the most commonly reported items were location (96%), mode of delivery (98%), and rationale for the essential intervention elements (96%). Least reported items for experimental interventions were modifications (2%) and intervention material descriptions (39%) and where to access them (20%). Of the 37 authors, 14 responded with further information, and 8 could not be contacted.
CONCLUSIONS: Many details of the experimental and comparison interventions in telehealth-delivered dietary chronic disease management trials are incompletely reported. This prevents accurate interpretation of trial results and implementation of effective interventions in clinical practice.