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The CONSORT Statement

Susan Dickinson Ross, MD, FRCPC
JAMA. 1996;276(23):1877. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540230027024.
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To the Editor.  —Bravo to the authors of the CONSORT statement1 for their valuable work toward improving the quality of reporting of RCTs. How appropriate that their report appeared in the same issue as the tribute to the late Dr Chalmers,2 a pioneering clinical trialist and meta-analyst. In carrying on his meta-analytic work at Meta Works, we always assign quality scores to studies we are using in meta-analyses, using the methods proposed by Chalmers and colleagues.3 However, we never really know whether we are rating the quality of the trial or the quality of the report of the trial. As such, there are additional benefits deriving from implementation of the CONSORT statement.The CONSORT format not only will improve the ability to assess validity of clinical trials, it also will permit better decisions regarding inclusion, and possibly weighting, in systematic overviews and meta-analyses. Having plowed through thousands of truly awful

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