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Syst Rev ; 10(1): 289, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496222


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 19 (covid-19) pandemic has underscored the need to expedite clinical research, which may lead investigators to shift away from measuring patient-important outcomes (PIO), limiting research applicability. We aim to investigate if randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of covid-19 pharmacological therapies include PIOs. METHODS: We will perform a meta-epidemiological study of RCTs that included people at risk for, or with suspected, probable, or confirmed covid-19, examining any pharmacological treatment or blood product aimed at prophylaxis or treatment. We will obtain data from all RCTs identified in a living network metanalysis (NMA). The main data sources are the living WHO covid-19 database up to 1 March 2021 and six additional Chinese databases up to 20 February 2021. Two reviewers independently will review each citation, full-text article, and abstract data. To categorize the outcomes according to their importance to patients, we will adapt a previously defined hierarchy: a) mortality, b) quality of life/ functional status/symptoms, c) morbidity, and d) surrogate outcomes. Outcomes within the category a) and b) will be considered critically important to patients, and outcomes within the category c) will be regarded as important. We will use descriptive statistics to assess the proportion of studies that report each category of outcomes. We will perform univariable and multivariable analysis to explore associations between trial characteristics and the likelihood of reporting PIOs. DISCUSSION: The findings from this meta-epidemiological study will help health care professionals and researchers understand if the current covid-19 trials are effectively assessing and reporting the outcomes that are important to patients. If a deficiency in capturing PIOs is identified, this information may help inform the development of future RCTs in covid-19. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATIONS: Open Science Framework registration: .

COVID-19 , Epidemiologic Studies , Humans , Patient Reported Outcome Measures , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Systematic Reviews as Topic
J Clin Epidemiol ; 139: 68-79, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466592


OBJECTIVE: To describe the characteristics of Covid-19 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and examine the association between trial characteristics and the likelihood of finding a significant effect. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a systematic review to identify RCTs (up to October 21, 2020) evaluating drugs or blood products to treat or prevent Covid-19. We extracted trial characteristics (number of centers, funding sources, and sample size) and assessed risk of bias (RoB) using the Cochrane RoB 2.0 tool. We performed logistic regressions to evaluate the association between RoB due to randomization, single vs. multicentre, funding source, and sample size, and finding a statistically significant effect. RESULTS: We included 91 RCTs (n = 46,802); 40 (44%) were single-center, 23 (25.3%) enrolled <50 patients, 28 (30.8%) received industry funding, and 75 (82.4%) had high or probably high RoB. Thirty-eight trials (41.8%) reported a statistically significant effect. RoB due to randomization and being a single-center trial were associated with increased odds of finding a statistically significant effect. CONCLUSIONS: There is high variability in RoB among Covid-19 trials. Researchers, funders, and knowledge-users should be cognizant of the impact of RoB due to randomization and single-center trial status in designing, evaluating, and interpreting the results of RCTs. REGISTRATION: CRD42020192095.