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A methodological review revealed that reporting of trials in manual therapy has not improved over time


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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

J Clin Epidemiol. 2020 May;121:32-44.


Gerard Alvarez, Ivan Solà, Mercè Sitjà-Rabert, Azahara Fort-Vanmeerhaeghe, Ignasi Gich, Carles Fernández, Xavier Bonfill, Gerard Urrútia


Objective: The aim of this review was to evaluate a selection of major reporting aspects in manual therapy (MT) trials, before and after the publication of the CONSORT extension for nonpharmacological trials (CONSORTnpt) STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We randomly selected 100 MT trials published between 2000 and 2015 and divided them into a pre-CONSORTnpt (n = 50) and a post-CONSORTnpt (n = 50) group. We extracted data on relevant issues of internal validity, reliability, and description of interventions. Two authors extracted data independently. Percentages were used for descriptive analyses, and Fisher's exact test and the chi-square test were used for group comparisons.

Results: Six different types of MT interventions with up to 20 controls were analyzed. The most common populations/conditions studied were healthy subjects and subjects with lower back or neck pain. Over 70% of studies included multi-session interventions, and 42% of studies reported long-term followup. The only significant differences between groups were the inclusion of a flowchart diagram, the estimated effect size, precision descriptions, and the description of intervention procedures.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that trials in MT show poor reporting even after the availability of standardized guidelines.

Publication Date: 

2020 May



Alvarez, G., Solà, I., Sitjà-rabert, M., Fort-vanmeerhaeghe, A., Gich, I., Fernández, C., Bonfill, X., Urrútia, G. (2020) 'A methodological review revealed that reporting of trials in manual therapy has not improved over time ', J Clin Epidemiol. 2020 May;121:32-44.

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