Assessment of the Completeness of Intervention Reporting of Randomized Clinical Trials for Alcohol Use Disorders: Effect of the TIDieR Checklist and Guide

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Drug and Alcohol Dependence


Background/purpose: Properly designed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard in patient-centered clinical research. Incomplete intervention reporting affects the readers' ability to evaluate treatment efficacy. Previous studies show that detailed descriptions of trial interventions remains insufficient for reliable replication. Understanding reporting areas in need of improvement can improve the quality of intervention reporting.

Methods: This cross-sectional review uses the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR) checklist to evaluate the quality of intervention reporting in RCTs. The primary outcome was to investigate the completeness of intervention reporting of RCTs reporting outcomes for patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) published in highly ranked addiction journals. The secondary outcomes were to: 1) evaluate whether publication of the TIDieR checklist resulted in better intervention reporting practices and 2) determine whether particular trial characteristics were associated with the completeness of intervention reporting.

Results: The final analysis included 56 records. The mean number of reported TIDieR items was 5.1 (SD = 1.47) of a possible 12. TIDieR checklist publication did not increase the average completion of the TIDieR checklist items (p = 0.76). Improved TIDieR adherence was associated with trials with double blinding, non-drug interventions, and CONSORT endorsement.

Discussion/conclusions: We found the reporting of interventions to be inadequate in our sample of AUD-related RCTs. Fundamental details were often not reported, hampering both clinical and research reproducibility. Moving forward, it may be necessary to consider additional mechanisms to either improve TIDieR uptake or to find other solutions to improve intervention reporting.



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Addiction, Alcohol use disorder, CONSORT, Intervention reporting, Methodology