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Reported Outcomes of the Alexander Technique Lessons or Acupuncture Sessions for Persons With Chronic Neck Pain Article FREE

Henry Drysdale, BSc; Ioan Milosevic, MSci; Ben Goldacre, MBBS, on behalf of the COMPare Team
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From COMPare and the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Disclosures: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=L15-0633.


Ann Intern Med. 2016;164(5):375-376. doi:10.7326/L15-0633
© 2016 American College of Physicians
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TO THE EDITOR:

MacPherson and colleagues' article (1) reports outcomes that differ from those initially registered (2). Three primary outcomes (1 score at 3 time points) were prespecified. Although the article reports data for all 3 time points, it incorrectly states that the primary end point was at 12 months when the registry entry gives no such ranking. In addition, 17 secondary outcomes (9 outcomes to be measured at between 1 and 3 time points each) were prespecified; of these, 6 are reported in the paper, whereas 11 are not reported anywhere in the publication. Furthermore, the article reports various nonprespecified analytic approaches, such as the use of regression models, and declares only some of these as novel.

Annals of Internal Medicine endorses the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) guidelines (3) on best practice in trial reporting. To reduce the risk for selective outcome reporting, CONSORT includes a commitment that all prespecified primary and secondary outcomes should be reported and that, where new outcomes are reported, it should be made clear that these were added at a later date, and when and why this was done should be explained.

The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Outcome Monitoring Project (COMPare) (4) aims to review all trials published going forward in a sample of top journals, including Annals. When outcomes have been incorrectly reported, we are writing letters to correct the record and audit the extent of this problem in the hope of reducing its prevalence. These trials have been published and are being used to inform decision making, and this comment is a brief correction on a matter of fact obtained by comparing 2 pieces of published literature. We are maintaining a Web site (www.COMPare-Trials.org) containing our letters and all our underlying data. We welcome specific feedback on any trial.

References

MacPherson H, Tilbrook H, Richmond S, Woodman J, Ballard K, Atkin K, et al. Alexander technique lessons or acupuncture sessions for persons with chronic neck pain: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2015; 163:653-62.
CrossRef
 
The ATLAS neck pain trial. ISRTCN Registry. BioMed Central. 11 March 2015. Accessed at www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN15186354 on 24 January 2016.
 
Moher D, Hopewell S, Schulz KF, Montori V, Gøtzsche PC, Devereaux PJ, et al. CONSORT 2010 explanation and elaboration: updated guidelines for reporting parallel group randomised trials. BMJ. 2010; 340:c869.
PubMed
CrossRef
 
Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Outcome Monitoring Project. Tracking switched outcomes in clinical trials. Accessed at www.COMPare-Trials.org on 9 November 2015.
 

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References

MacPherson H, Tilbrook H, Richmond S, Woodman J, Ballard K, Atkin K, et al. Alexander technique lessons or acupuncture sessions for persons with chronic neck pain: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2015; 163:653-62.
CrossRef
 
The ATLAS neck pain trial. ISRTCN Registry. BioMed Central. 11 March 2015. Accessed at www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN15186354 on 24 January 2016.
 
Moher D, Hopewell S, Schulz KF, Montori V, Gøtzsche PC, Devereaux PJ, et al. CONSORT 2010 explanation and elaboration: updated guidelines for reporting parallel group randomised trials. BMJ. 2010; 340:c869.
PubMed
CrossRef
 
Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Outcome Monitoring Project. Tracking switched outcomes in clinical trials. Accessed at www.COMPare-Trials.org on 9 November 2015.
 

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