- •The behavioural, environmental, social and systems interventions which have been the mainstay of Covid-19 pandemic management are often incompletely presented in reports of randomised trials that are evaluating them. Completeness of intervention descriptions can be improved after contacting investigators, though investigators frequently do not respond to requests for information.
- •There is poor reporting of elements needed for the use of interventions, but further information can be obtained by contacting study investigators and a standard reporting format (TIDieR checklist) for describing intervention can be used.
- •This study assessed the extent of the problem of incomplete intervention description reporting of behavioural, environmental, social and systems interventions (BESSI) that have been relied upon to limit Covid-19 transmission and evaluated in randomised trials
What this study adds to what is known
- •Incomplete reporting of BESSI hampers the ability to build on the findings of existing trials and the implementation of interventions that limit the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the context of pandemic urgency where rapid research replication and application are needed.
- •Incomplete intervention reporting is an avoidable source of research waste.
- •The TIDieR checklist can be used by researchers, registries and journal publishers to improve standardised descriptions of interventions.
What is the implication, what should change now
Study design and setting
Publication stageIn Press Journal Pre-Proof
Declaration of interests
The authors declare the following financial interests/personal relationships which may be considered as potential competing interests:
Paul Glasziou and Sharon Sanders reports financial support was provided by National Health and Medical Research Council Investigator Grant. The funding body had no role in any aspect of the study. Tammy Hoffmann and Paul Glasziou are authors of the TIDieR reporting guideline used in this paper to assess the completeness of intervention reporting.
Ethical approval was not required for this study.
Patient and public involvement
Patients or members of the public were not involved in the design, conduct or reporting of this research.
We would sincerely like to thank all investigators who responded to our request for additional information.
Data sharing statement
No datasets were generated and/or analysed for this study. Results data are included in the article or available in supplemental information. Ratings on completeness of reporting of TIDieR items for individual studies are available by request to the corresponding author.
Sharon Sanders: Conceptualisation, methodology, validation, formal analysis, investigation, writing – original draft, writing – review and editing, visualisation, project administration.
Elizabeth Gibson: Conceptualisation, methodology, formal analysis, investigation, writing – review and editing
Paul Glasziou: Conceptualisation, methodology, writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing, supervision
Tammy Hoffmann: Conceptualisation, methodology, validation, writing – review and editing, supervision
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