Characteristics, results, and reporting of contemporary surgical trials: A systematic review and analysis


N Bryce Robinson, Ajita Naik, Irbaz Hameed, Yongle Ruan, Mohamed Rahouma, Viola Weidenmann, Marco A Zenati, Deepak L Bhatt, Leonard N Girardi, Paul Kurlansky, Shahzad G Raja, David Moher, Stephen Fremes, Joanna Chikwe, and Mario Gaudino. 2020. “Characteristics, results, and reporting of contemporary surgical trials: A systematic review and analysis.” Int J Surg Protoc, 21, Pp. 1-4.


Introduction: The complexities and risks inherent to the field of surgery and surgical interventions present unique challenges to the design and analysis of surgical randomized controlled trials (RCT). Prior studies have investigated the practical and methodologic challenges posed by surgical RCTs. To date, however, a comprehensive analysis of the contemporary literature across multiple surgical subspecialties does not exist. In this descriptive analysis, we set out to characterize surgical RCTs over the past 10 years across six major surgical specialties. Methods and analysis: A literature search by a medical librarian will be performed to identify all surgical randomized clinical trials published between January 2009 and December 2019 in the two journals with the highest impact factor for six surgical specialties as well as two large general medicine journals. Two reviewers will independently screen the citations retrieved from the literature search and extract data according to a previously described protocol via a pre-defined data collection form. Categorical variables will be reported as counts and percentages. Following assessment of normality, continuous variables will be reported as mean (standard deviation) or median (inter-quartile range). Based on normality of data, independent t-test or the Mann-Whitney U test will be used to compare continuous variables and chi-square and Fisher's exact tests to compare categorical variables. Comparisons across multiple sets will be performed using ANOVA or Kruskak-Wallis tests. Two-sided significance testing will be used and a p-value <0.05 will be considered significant without adjustment for multiple testing. All analyses will be performed using SPSS version 24 and R within RStudio. PROSPERO (ID number: 162797). Ethics and dissemination: There are no ethical concerns directly pertinent to this systematic review. The retrieved data will be made available upon request. The study will be written in English and submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Last updated on 02/17/2022