OBJECTIVE: We examined and appraised the CONSORT 2010 Statement and its extension from the perspective of the reporting of comparison groups (i.e., interventions or control conditions against which an experimental intervention is compared) in clinical trials on rehabilitation topics.
DESIGN: We downloaded the CONSORT 2010 Statement and all endorsed and unofficial extensions reported on the CONSORT and EQUATOR websites. We extracted all statements on the selection, design, delivery or interpretation of data from comparison groups in clinical trials. We discussed preliminary findings during the Cochrane Rehabilitation Methodology Meeting in Kobe, then further by email before finalizing results.
RESULTS: We identified 24 standards reported across the CONSORT 2010 Statement and ten extensions. Overall, these standards address many, but not all, issues related to reporting of comparison groups in rehabilitation trials.
CONCLUSION: We recommend that additional standards be created for the selection of types of comparisons, choices around reporting of "usual care", reporting of intended "mechanisms of control", and reporting a rationale for the hypothesized superiority of one intervention over another when superiority trial design are used. Rehabilitation research would benefit from development of a specific checklist and guidelines to help researchers make best use of existing extensions.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.