Purpose: We assessed the quality of randomized, controlled trial reporting in abstracts from the annual meetings of the American Urological Association and determined whether the information provided is consistent with subsequent full text publications. Materials and Methods: All randomized, controlled trials presented in abstract form at the 2002 and 2003 American Urological Association annual meetings were identified for review. A systematic PubMed® search based on authorship and key words from the study title was done to identify all subsequent full text publications. A standardized evaluation form was developed based on the published literature, pilot tested in a separate sample and applied by 2 independent reviewers. Results: A total of 126 randomized, controlled trials were identified for review, including 56 in 2002 and 70 in 2003. Approximately a third of the trials (43 or 34.1%) identified the study design as a randomized, controlled trial in the abstract title. The method of randomization, allocation concealment and blinding was reported in 0% (0), 0% (0) and 40.5% (51) of studies, respectively. Mean/median followup was provided in 27.0% of studies (34). Of 126 randomized, controlled trials presented in abstract form 62.7% (79) were subsequently published as full text articles. Study sample size and the number of randomized subjects differed in 24.1% and 28.9% of abstracts, respectively. From the small proportion of randomized, controlled trials (23 or 29.1%) that identified a single primary end point results differed in 9 of 23 (39.1%). Conclusions: Most abstracts fail to provide the necessary information to assess methodological quality. Organizers of urological meetings should consider implementing a more structured abstract format that requires authors to provide the necessary study details, thereby allowing urologists to critically appraise study validity.
- abstracting and indexing as topic
- randomized controlled trials as topic
- research design