Transparent reporting of trials is essential.
Reports of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) inform the care of future patients and are especially important to clinicians and systematic reviewers. Readers should satisfy themselves that the study methods were sound. Clinicians should consider the relevance to their own patients, both benefits and harms, and absolute as well as relative effects. Trial reports should provide a clear, transparent, and complete report of what was done and what was found. Unfortunately, bad reporting of RCTs is common, which has serious consequences for clinical practice, research, policy making, and ultimately for patients. RCT reports should adhere to the CONSORT Statement, a minimum set of items that should be addressed. Authors, peer reviewers, and editors should all work to ensure that research reports maximize the value derived from the cost and effort of conducting a trial.