Cluster Randomised Trials in Cochrane Reviews: Evaluation of Methodological and Reporting Practice

Ref ID 708
First Author M. Richardson
Journal PLOS ONE
Year Of Publishing 2016
Keywords Cochrane
Risk of bias
General medical
Problem(s) Flawed risk of bias undertaken
Inflexible methods to complex questions
Errors in effect estimate calculations or data synthesis
Number of systematic reviews included 50
Summary of Findings Only 56% reviews identified that cluster-RCTs were eligible for inclusion in the eligibility criteria. For reporting cluster-RCTs, only 24% reviews reported the method of cluster adjustment. For assessing risk of bias, only one review assessed all five cluster-RCT-specific risk-of bias criteria. For analysing cluster-RCTs, of the 27 reviews that presented unadjusted data, only 33% provided a warning that confidence intervals may be artificially narrow. Of the 34 reviews that reported data from unadjusted cluster-RCTs, only 38% excluded the unadjusted results from the meta-analyses.
Did the article find that the problem(s) led to qualitative changes in interpretation of the results? Not Applicable
Are the methods of the article described in enough detail to replicate the study? Yes