Under-reporting of socioeconomic status of patients in stroke trials: adherence to CONSORT principles.
Magin P., Victoire A., Zhen XM., Furler J., Pirotta M., Lasserson DS., Levi C., Tapley A., van Driel M.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The 2001 Revised Consolidated Standards of Reporting of Trials (CONSORT) statement requires reporting of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) to include participants' baseline demographics. This enables comparison of intervention and control groups on potential confounding variables as well as assessment of study generalizability. Socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with access to care and outcomes (mortality, functional outcome, recurrent stroke, and hospital readmission) poststroke. We aimed to document the reporting of baseline SES in reports of RCTs of stroke and transient ischemic attack. METHODS: Measures of SES were extracted from studies reporting trials of stroke or transient ischemic attack published in 12 major journals in the disciplines of general medicine, general neurology, cerebrovascular disease, and rehabilitation subsequent to revised CONSORT. Percentages of studies reporting SES measures were calculated. Differences in reporting between journal categories, and temporal trends in reporting, were tested. RESULTS: Only 12% of studies reported any SES measure. Journal categories did not differ in rate of SES reporting. SES reporting did not increase over time. CONCLUSIONS: Improving reporting of SES could enhance clinicians' ability to evaluate RCT findings and apply them to their patients.