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

  • Gerard Alvarez
    Corresponding author. Iberoamerican Cochrane Center, C. Sant Antoni Maria Claret 167, Pavelló 18, Planta 0, 08025 Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain. Tel.: +34 620 214 206; fax: +34 935 537 809.
    Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, IIB Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain

    Foundation Centre for Osteopathic Medicine Collaboration, Spain National Centre, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Ivan Solà
    Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, IIB Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain

    CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain
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  • Mercè Sitjà-Rabert
    School of Health Science (FCS) Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain

    Global Research on Wellbeing (GRoW) Research Group, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Azahara Fort-Vanmeerhaeghe
    School of Health Science (FCS) Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain

    Faculty of Psychology, Education Sciences and Sport (FPCEE) Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Ignasi Gich
    CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain

    Clinical Epidemiology and Public Health Department, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Carles Fernández
    School of Health Science (FCS) Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain

    Global Research on Wellbeing (GRoW) Research Group, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Xavier Bonfill
    Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, IIB Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain

    CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain
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  • Gerard Urrútia
    Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, IIB Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain

    CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain
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      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.


      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.


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


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment


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