Quality of Intervention Research Reporting in Medical Rehabilitation Journals
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the degree to which rehabilitation researchers report information on the interventions they evaluate. DESIGN: Intervention research articles published in six United States medical rehabilitation journals in 1997-1998 were rated on the presence or absence of information on the overall design, intervention used, and outcome measures. Rating was performed independently by two authors who used discussion to resolve disagreements. RESULTS: A total of 171 articles were identified. The use of randomization was not reported in 5% of articles, the nature of data collection was absent in 6%, and the timing of the intervention relative to the onset of the disorder was absent in 32%. For 73% of 651 outcome measures used in the articles, no clinimetric information was reported. Descriptions of the 344 interventions used were inadequate or absent in 62% of the articles and lacked an operational definition in 9%. Intervention integrity was assessed for only 46% of the articles. No journal was systematically better or worse than average. CONCLUSIONS: There is a need for rehabilitation researchers to improve the quality of their research and the quality of research reporting. Suggestions for doing so are made.
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