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December 18, 1996

The CONSORT Statement

Author Affiliations

University of Berne Berne, Switzerland
University of Freiburg Freiburg, Germany

JAMA. 1996;276(23):1876-1877. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540230026023

To the Editor.  —We welcome the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) effort to improve the quality of reporting of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).1 Only trials reported in a comprehensive fashion can be appraised fully for methodological quality and relevance. The urgent need for defining standards of reporting is obvious from the preliminary results we obtained in a survey of RCTs published by authors in German-speaking Europe. All trials published in 5 leading German, Swiss, and Austrian general medical journals (Deutsch Med Wochenschr, Schweiz Med Wochenschr, Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax, Wien Med Wochenschr, and Wien Klin Wochenschr) from 1985 through 1994 were identified in a manual search following the procedures recommended by the Cochrane Collaboration.2 A total of 224 German-language articles were identified. The MEDLINE database was then searched for RCTs published in English by the same authors during the same 10-year period. A total of 559 English-language