Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Research Methods & Reporting

The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate healthcare interventions: explanation and elaboration

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 21 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2700

Rapid Response:

CONSORT in China

CONSORT in China

CONSORT and other related reporting guidelines have made impressive
progress in the past 13 years. The publication of PRISMA in the BMJ[1]
indicates that the reporting quality of systematic reviews and meta-
analyses will continue improving. However, reporting guidelines such as
CONSORT and QUORUM have not been disseminated effectively or appreciated
in China.

The CONSORT statement was first introduced into China in 1997. [2]
But by 2007 less than five Chinese medical journals had recommended
CONSORT in their "Instruction for authors or Guide for authors". [3] Only
the Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine recommended using the
QUORUM statement. On the other hand, China has shown rapid growth in the
number of systematic reviews. Unfortunately, 90 % of the 2000 randomized
trials published in Chinese medical journals suffer from design flaws. [4]

In order to spread the benefit of the CONSORT series£¬especially in
developing countries and non-native English speaking countries, we would
like to suggest three measures to focus on. Firstly, medical editors
should recognize and pay more attention to reporting guidelines because of
the key role editors play in the publication and distribution of medical
information. Secondly, medical researchers and clinicians should actively
follow clinical trial registration policy. Last but not least, medical
schools should introduce reporting guidelines into medical education as
early as possible. Application of the CONSORT statement has demonstrated
benefits in improving reporting quality, [5] so we expect application of
PRISMA and any other reporting guidelines to have a similar effect.

Yao-long Chen, *Ke-hu Yang

Correspondence to: Ke-hu Yang, The Evidence-based Medicine center of
Lanzhou University, The School of Basic Medical Science of Lanzhou
University, Lanzhou 730000, China

Competing interests: None declared.

[1]. Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., Altman, D. G, for the
PRISMA Group. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-
analyses: the PRISMA statement. BMJ 2009; 339: b2535-b2535.

[2]. Zhu CW. Improving the quality of reporting of randomized
controlled trials: the CONSORT statement. JAMA(Chinese Edition) 1997;

[3]. Xu L, Li J, Zhang MM, Ai CL, Wang L. Chinese authors do need
CONSORT: Reporting quality assessment for five leading Chinese medical
journals. Contemp Clin Trials 2008; 29: 727-731.

[4]. Wise J. High proportion of trials published in Chinese medical
journals are flawed, study shows. BMJ 2009; 339: b2729.

[5]. Moher D, Jones A, Lepage L. Use of the CONSORT Statement and
quality of reports of randomized trials: a comparative before-and after
evaluation. JAMA 2001; 285: 1992¨C5.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

15 August 2009
Ke-hu Yang
Yao-long Chen
The Evidence-based Medicine center of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000