Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Dr. Philip M. Jones


Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) provide important evidence to inform clinical decision making; if these trials are of low quality, the resulting clinical decision will likely also be of low quality. The main purpose of this thesis was to conduct a series of methodological surveys that would identify potential areas of improvement in the quality of reporting for RCTs published in anesthesiology journals. Trial registration adequacy, adherence to CONSORT for Abstracts guidelines, and sample size calculation quality were all assessed, with a final chapter exploring the effect of industry funding on these methodological quality measures. While the results suggest improvement over time, the overall quality is still lacking. Industry sources funded a minority of the included RCTs, and did not appear to affect any of the measures of quality. More research is needed to confirm these findings and to identify tools for reducing the potential distortion emanating from low quality design and reporting.