Critical analysis of the drafting of physical therapy randomized controlled trials published in Portuguese

Ercole da Cruz Rubini, Fabio Dutra Pereira, Renato Sobral Monteiro- Junior, Patricia Zaidan, Cintia Pereira de Souza, Elirez Bezerra da Silva


Introduction: randomized controlled trials are high quality studies. Many problems related to the drafting of these studies have been identified and consequently various national and international journals, in an attempt to improve this writing, have adopted the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials recommendations. Regarding the studies written specifically by physical therapists, until now, the quality of the drafting in Portuguese has been unknown. Aim: To critically analyze the drafting of RCTs in the area of physical therapy, published in Portuguese, in relation to the CONSORT recommendations. Materials and Methods: On 17th Oct, 2012, 548 RCTs in Portuguese were recovered from the MEDLINE and PEDro databases, which were divided among four evaluators who, after reading the abstracts, selected those related to physical therapy. Of these studies, 78 RCTs were related to physical therapy, which were divided among the four evaluators for the analysis of the drafting according to the CONSORT recommendations. The four evaluators who participated in this study previously obtained a median kappa above 70% when their analyses were compared to the analyses of the evaluator considered the gold standard due to having greater experience. Results: The quantity of items of the CONSORT recommendations according to year of publication was very small, corresponding to a mean of 43% of the items in the articles analyzed. Conclusion: The results make very clear the need to improve the quality of the drafting of the RCTs related to physical therapy in Portuguese and to include more rigorous methodological procedures, such as sample size, randomization and blinding. The dissemination and adoption of the CONSORT recommendations by physical therapy researchers would, without doubt, be a big step towards improving this quality.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.