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07-02-2017 | Uitgave 6/2017

Quality of Life Research 6/2017

Preliminary evidence on the uptake, use and benefits of the CONSORT-PRO extension

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2017
Rebecca Mercieca-Bebber, Julie Rouette, Melanie Calvert, Madeleine T. King, Lori McLeod, Patricia Holch, Michael J. Palmer, Michael Brundage, on behalf of the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) Best Practice for PROs—Reporting Taskforce
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11136-017-1508-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



This study assessed the uptake of the CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT)—Patient-Reported Outcomes (PRO) statement; determined if use of CONSORT-PRO was associated with more complete reporting of PRO endpoints in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and identified the extent to which high-impact journals publishing RCTs with PRO endpoints endorse CONSORT-PRO.


CONSORT-PRO citations were identified by systematically searching Medline, EMBASE and Google from 2013 (year CONSORT-PRO released) to 17 December 2015. RCTs that cited CONSORT-PRO (cases) were compared to a comparable control sample of RCTs in terms of adherence to CONSORT-PRO using t tests. General linear models assessed the relationship between CONSORT-PRO score and key, pre-specified variables. The 100 highest-impact journals that published RCTs with PRO endpoints (2014–2015) were identified via a systematic Medline search. Instructions for authors were reviewed to determine whether journals endorsed CONSORT-PRO.


Total CONSORT-PRO scores ranged from 47 to 100% for cases and 25–96% for controls. Cases had significantly higher total CONSORT-PRO scores compared to controls: t = 2.64, p = 0.01. ‘Citing CONSORT-PRO’, ‘journal endorsing CONSORT-PRO’ and ‘dedicated PRO paper’ were significant predictors of higher CONSORT-PRO adherence score: R 2 = 0.48, p < 0.001. 11/100 top-ranked journals endorsed CONSORT-PRO in their instructions to authors, seven of these journals published RCTs included as cases in this study.


This study demonstrated improved PRO reporting associated with journal endorsement and author use of the CONSORT-PRO extension. Despite growing awareness, more work is needed to promote appropriate use of CONSORT-PRO to improve completeness of reporting; in particular, stronger journal endorsement of CONSORT-PRO.

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