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1.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257093, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435606

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the reporting quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) regarding patients with COVID-19 and analyse the influence factors. METHODS: PubMed, Embase, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library databases were searched to collect RCTs regarding patients with COVID-19. The retrieval time was from the inception to December 1, 2020. The CONSORT 2010 statement was used to evaluate the overall reporting quality of these RCTs. RESULTS: 53 RCTs were included. The study showed that the average reporting rate for 37 items in CONSORT checklist was 53.85% with mean overall adherence score of 13.02±3.546 (ranged: 7 to 22). The multivariate linear regression analysis showed the overall adherence score to the CONSORT guideline was associated with journal impact factor (P = 0.006), and endorsement of CONSORT statement (P = 0.014). CONCLUSION: Although many RCTs of COVID-19 have been published in different journals, the overall reporting quality of these articles was suboptimal, it can not provide valid evidence for clinical decision-making and systematic reviews. Therefore, more journals should endorse the CONSORT statement, authors should strictly follow the relevant provisions of the CONSORT guideline when reporting articles. Future RCTs should particularly focus on improvement of detailed reporting in allocation concealment, blinding and estimation of sample size.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Publications/standards , Publishing/standards , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , Data Management/standards , Guideline Adherence/standards , Humans , Journal Impact Factor , PubMed/standards , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
2.
Med Sci Monit ; 27: e934514, 2021 Aug 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1378498

ABSTRACT

During 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in interruptions and cancellations of clinical trials and has delayed drug development in all areas except SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development. A further concern is the need to rapidly share anonymized datasets and improve opportunities to conduct randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in low-resource developing countries, particularly for oncology trials and for other infectious diseases. The Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) 2010 and the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) 2013 currently guide the reporting of trial protocols and completed RCTs, respectively. Extenuating circumstances or unavoidable situations may occur that are beyond the control of study sponsors and investigators. On June 21, 2021, the CONSORT and SPIRIT Extension for RCTs Revised in Extenuating Circumstance (CONSERVE) was published. The scope of CONSERVE 2021 includes modifications that have substantive implications for the feasibility, ethical conduct, scientific content, and study analysis. This Editorial aims to provide the background to CONSERVE 2021 and show how these guidelines may reduce the number of clinical trials currently being paused or discontinued due to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in poorly resourced and developing countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Clinical Protocols/standards , Guidelines as Topic , Publishing/standards , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , Research Report/standards , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , United States/epidemiology
5.
JAMA ; 326(3): 257-265, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338165

ABSTRACT

Importance: Extenuating circumstances can trigger unplanned changes to randomized trials and introduce methodological, ethical, feasibility, and analytical challenges that can potentially compromise the validity of findings. Numerous randomized trials have required changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but guidance for reporting such modifications is incomplete. Objective: As a joint extension for the CONSORT and SPIRIT reporting guidelines, CONSERVE (CONSORT and SPIRIT Extension for RCTs Revised in Extenuating Circumstances) aims to improve reporting of trial protocols and completed trials that undergo important modifications in response to extenuating circumstances. Evidence: A panel of 37 international trial investigators, patient representatives, methodologists and statisticians, ethicists, funders, regulators, and journal editors convened to develop the guideline. The panel developed CONSERVE following an accelerated, iterative process between June 2020 and February 2021 involving (1) a rapid literature review of multiple databases (OVID Medline, OVID EMBASE, and EBSCO CINAHL) and gray literature sources from 2003 to March 2021; (2) consensus-based panelist meetings using a modified Delphi process and surveys; and (3) a global survey of trial stakeholders. Findings: The rapid review yielded 41 673 citations, of which 38 titles were relevant, including emerging guidance from regulatory and funding agencies for managing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on trials. However, no generalizable guidance for all circumstances in which trials and trial protocols might face unanticipated modifications were identified. The CONSERVE panel used these findings to develop a consensus reporting guidelines following 4 rounds of meetings and surveys. Responses were received from 198 professionals from 34 countries, of whom 90% (n = 178) indicated that they understood the concept definitions and 85.4% (n = 169) indicated that they understood and could use the implementation tool. Feedback from survey respondents was used to finalize the guideline and confirm that the guideline's core concepts were applicable and had utility for the trial community. CONSERVE incorporates an implementation tool and checklists tailored to trial reports and trial protocols for which extenuating circumstances have resulted in important modifications to the intended study procedures. The checklists include 4 sections capturing extenuating circumstances, important modifications, responsible parties, and interim data analyses. Conclusions and Relevance: CONSERVE offers an extension to CONSORT and SPIRIT that could improve the transparency, quality, and completeness of reporting important modifications to trials in extenuating circumstances such as COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Guidelines as Topic , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , Research Report/standards , Clinical Protocols , Delphi Technique , Humans , Publishing/standards , Surveys and Questionnaires
6.
JAMA ; 326(3): 257-265, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274634

ABSTRACT

Importance: Extenuating circumstances can trigger unplanned changes to randomized trials and introduce methodological, ethical, feasibility, and analytical challenges that can potentially compromise the validity of findings. Numerous randomized trials have required changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but guidance for reporting such modifications is incomplete. Objective: As a joint extension for the CONSORT and SPIRIT reporting guidelines, CONSERVE (CONSORT and SPIRIT Extension for RCTs Revised in Extenuating Circumstances) aims to improve reporting of trial protocols and completed trials that undergo important modifications in response to extenuating circumstances. Evidence: A panel of 37 international trial investigators, patient representatives, methodologists and statisticians, ethicists, funders, regulators, and journal editors convened to develop the guideline. The panel developed CONSERVE following an accelerated, iterative process between June 2020 and February 2021 involving (1) a rapid literature review of multiple databases (OVID Medline, OVID EMBASE, and EBSCO CINAHL) and gray literature sources from 2003 to March 2021; (2) consensus-based panelist meetings using a modified Delphi process and surveys; and (3) a global survey of trial stakeholders. Findings: The rapid review yielded 41 673 citations, of which 38 titles were relevant, including emerging guidance from regulatory and funding agencies for managing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on trials. However, no generalizable guidance for all circumstances in which trials and trial protocols might face unanticipated modifications were identified. The CONSERVE panel used these findings to develop a consensus reporting guidelines following 4 rounds of meetings and surveys. Responses were received from 198 professionals from 34 countries, of whom 90% (n = 178) indicated that they understood the concept definitions and 85.4% (n = 169) indicated that they understood and could use the implementation tool. Feedback from survey respondents was used to finalize the guideline and confirm that the guideline's core concepts were applicable and had utility for the trial community. CONSERVE incorporates an implementation tool and checklists tailored to trial reports and trial protocols for which extenuating circumstances have resulted in important modifications to the intended study procedures. The checklists include 4 sections capturing extenuating circumstances, important modifications, responsible parties, and interim data analyses. Conclusions and Relevance: CONSERVE offers an extension to CONSORT and SPIRIT that could improve the transparency, quality, and completeness of reporting important modifications to trials in extenuating circumstances such as COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Guidelines as Topic , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , Research Report/standards , Clinical Protocols , Delphi Technique , Humans , Publishing/standards , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
J Pediatr Health Care ; 35(4): 443-448, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253464

ABSTRACT

Critical appraisal of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) determines rigor, quality, and whether the findings are applicable to the populations served in clinical practices. The authors conducted a rigorous analysis using the RCT Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) Checklist for the two RCTs Pfizer (New York, NY) and Moderna (Cambridge, MA) conducted and the reporting of these RCTs using the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials checklist. The goals for this analysis were twofold: (1) enable health care providers to understand the methods and outcomes of these RCTs, and (2) enable health care providers and community leaders to become champions for the vaccines to reduce vaccine hesitancy among all populations. The analysis is presented using each of the 11 questions on the CASP tool while comparing the methodology and results for each vaccine. Most CASP tool items were positive or yes for both the Pfizer and Moderna RCTs. Items that were not scored as yes are discussed. The analysis outcomes revealed that both RCTs were rigorously conducted and provide an assurance to all health care providers and the public of the safety and efficacy of both vaccines to impact the astounding morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 disease. The authors believed that the analysis was an essential component of the distribution process to develop plans and communication strategies to reduce potential vaccine hesitancy and resistance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , Research Design/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Checklist , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Can J Cardiol ; 37(9): 1353-1364, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252583

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 crisis led to a flurry of clinical trials activity. The COVID-evidence database shows 2814 COVID-19 randomized trials registered as of February 16, 2021. Most were small (only 18% have a planned sample size > 500) and the rare completed ones have not provided published results promptly (only 283 trial publications as of February 2021). Small randomized trials and observational, nonrandomized analyses have not had a successful track record and have generated misleading expectations. Different large trials on the same intervention have generally been far more efficient in producing timely and consistent evidence. The rapid generation of evidence and accelerated dissemination of results have led to new challenges for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (eg, rapid, living, and scoping reviews). Pressure to regulatory agencies has also mounted with massive emergency authorizations, but some of them have had to be revoked. Pandemic circumstances have disrupted the way trials are conducted; therefore, new methods have been developed and adopted more widely to facilitate recruitment, consent, and overall trial conduct. On the basis of the COVID-19 experience and its challenges, planning of several large, efficient trials, and wider use of adaptive designs might change the future of clinical research. Pragmatism, integration in clinical care, efficient administration, promotion of collaborative structures, and enhanced integration of existing data and facilities might be several of the legacies of COVID-19 on future randomized trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , COVID-19/therapy , Clinical Trials as Topic/methods , Clinical Trials as Topic/standards , Clinical Trials as Topic/statistics & numerical data , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/methods , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/statistics & numerical data , Research Design/standards , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Ann Intern Med ; 174(8): 1118-1125, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1181776

ABSTRACT

Multiple candidate vaccines to prevent COVID-19 have entered large-scale phase 3 placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials, and several have demonstrated substantial short-term efficacy. At some point after demonstration of substantial efficacy, placebo recipients should be offered the efficacious vaccine from their trial, which will occur before longer-term efficacy and safety are known. The absence of a placebo group could compromise assessment of longer-term vaccine effects. However, by continuing follow-up after vaccination of the placebo group, this study shows that placebo-controlled vaccine efficacy can be mathematically derived by assuming that the benefit of vaccination over time has the same profile for the original vaccine recipients and the original placebo recipients after their vaccination. Although this derivation provides less precise estimates than would be obtained by a standard trial where the placebo group remains unvaccinated, this proposed approach allows estimation of longer-term effect, including durability of vaccine efficacy and whether the vaccine eventually becomes harmful for some. Deferred vaccination, if done open-label, may lead to riskier behavior in the unblinded original vaccine group, confounding estimates of long-term vaccine efficacy. Hence, deferred vaccination via blinded crossover, where the vaccine group receives placebo and vice versa, would be the preferred way to assess vaccine durability and potential delayed harm. Deferred vaccination allows placebo recipients timely access to the vaccine when it would no longer be proper to maintain them on placebo, yet still allows important insights about immunologic and clinical effectiveness over time.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic/standards , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic/methods , Cross-Over Studies , Double-Blind Method , Drug Administration Schedule , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/methods , Research Design/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 71(16): 2187-2190, 2020 11 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1153163

ABSTRACT

Clinicians, eager to offer the best care in the absence of guiding data, have provided patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diverse clinical interventions. This usage has led to perceptions of efficacy of some interventions that, while receiving media coverage, lack robust evidence. Moving forward, randomized controlled clinical trials are necessary to ensure that clinicians can treat patients effectively during this outbreak and the next. To do so, academic medical centers must address 2 key research issues: (1) how to effectively and efficiently determine which trials have the best chance of benefiting current and future patients and (2) how to establish a transparent and ethical process for subject recruitment while maintaining research integrity and without overburdening patients or staff. We share here the current methods used by Michigan Medicine to address these issues.


Subject(s)
Academic Medical Centers , COVID-19/therapy , Patient Selection/ethics , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , Humans , Informed Consent , Michigan , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
12.
J Integr Med ; 19(4): 317-326, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142063

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The therapeutic evidence collected from well-designed studies is needed to help manage the global pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Evaluating the quality of therapeutic data collected during this most recent pandemic is important for improving future clinical research under similar circumstances. OBJECTIVE: To assess the methodological quality and variability in implementation of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for treating COVID-19, and to analyze the support that should be provided to improve data collected during an urgent pandemic situation. SEARCH STRATEGY: PubMed, Excerpta Medica Database, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang, and Chongqing VIP, and the preprint repositories including Social Science Research Network and MedRxiv were systematically searched, up to September 30, 2020, using the keywords "coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)," "2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)," "severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2)," "novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP)," "randomized controlled trial (RCT)" and "random." INCLUSION CRITERIA: RCTs studying the treatment of COVID-19 were eligible for inclusion. DATA EXTRACTION AND ANALYSIS: Screening of published RCTs for inclusion and data extraction were each conducted by two researchers. Analysis of general information on COVID-19 RCTs was done using descriptive statistics. Methodological quality was assessed using the risk-of-bias tools in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (Version 5.1.0). Variability in implementation was assessed by comparing consistency between RCT reports and registration information. RESULTS: A total of 5886 COVID-19 RCTs were identified. Eighty-one RCTs were finally included, of which, 45 had registration information. Methodological quality of the RTCs was not optimal due to deficiencies in five main domains: allocation concealment, blinding of participants and personnel, blinding of outcome assessment, incomplete outcome data, and selective reporting. Comparisons of consistency between published protocols and registration information showed that the 45 RCTs with registration information had common deviations in seven items: inclusion and exclusion criteria, sample size, outcomes, research sites of recruitment, interventions, and blinding. CONCLUSION: The methodological quality of COVID-19 RCTs conducted in early to mid 2020 was consistently low and variability in implementation was common. More support for implementing high-quality methodology is needed to obtain the quality of therapeutic evidence needed to provide positive guidance for clinical care. We make an urgent appeal for accelerating the construction of a collaborative sharing platform and preparing multidisciplinary talent and professional teams to conduct excellent clinical research when faced with epidemic diseases of the future. Further, variability in RCT implementation should be clearly reported and interpreted to improve the utility of data resulting from those trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/methods , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
13.
Stroke ; 52(4): 1527-1531, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085244

ABSTRACT

Informed consent is a key concept to ensure patient autonomy in clinical trials and routine care. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has complicated informed consent processes, due to physical distancing precautions and increased physician workload. As such, obtaining timely and adequate patient consent has become a bottleneck for many clinical trials. However, this challenging situation might also present an opportunity to rethink and reappraise our approach to consent in clinical trials. This viewpoint discusses the challenges related to informed consent during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether it could be acceptable to alter current consent processes under these circumstances, and outlines a possible framework with predefined criteria and a system of checks and balances that could allow for alterations of existing consent processes to maximize patient benefit under exceptional circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic without undermining patient autonomy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Informed Consent/standards , Pandemics , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , Stroke/diagnostic imaging , Stroke/therapy , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Stroke/epidemiology , Time Factors
16.
Contemp Clin Trials ; 101: 106239, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-956961

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has mobilized global research at an unprecedented scale. While challenges associated with the COVID-19 trial landscape have been discussed previously, no comprehensive reviews have been conducted to assess the reporting, design, and data sharing practices of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). PURPOSE: The purpose of this review was to gain insight into the current landscape of reporting, methodological design, and data sharing practices for COVID-19 RCTs. DATA SOURCES: We conducted three searches to identify registered clinical trials, peer-reviewed publications, and pre-print publications. STUDY SELECTION: After screening eight major trial registries and 7844 records, we identified 178 registered trials and 38 publications describing 35 trials, including 25 peer-reviewed publications and 13 pre-prints. DATA EXTRACTION: Trial ID, registry, location, population, intervention, control, study design, recruitment target, actual recruitment, outcomes, data sharing statement, and time of data sharing were extracted. DATA SYNTHESIS: Of 178 registered trials, 112 (62.92%) were in hospital settings, median planned recruitment was 100 participants (IQR: 60, 168), and the majority (n = 166, 93.26%) did not report results in their respective registries. Of 35 published trials, 31 (88.57%) were in hospital settings, median actual recruitment was 86 participants (IQR: 55.5, 218), 10 (28.57%) did not reach recruitment targets, and 27 trials (77.14%) reported plans to share data. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of our study highlight limitations in the design and reporting practices of COVID-19 RCTs and provide guidance towards more efficient reporting of trial results, greater diversity in patient settings, and more robust data sharing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Data Management/organization & administration , Data Management/standards , Humans , Quality Improvement , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/methods , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/statistics & numerical data , Research Design/standards , Research Design/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Ethn Dis ; 30(3): 429-432, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-937791

ABSTRACT

The randomized clinical trial (RCT) has long been recognized as the 'gold standard' for developing evidence for clinical treatments and vaccines; however, the successful implementation and translation of these findings is predicated upon external validity. The generalization of RCT findings are jeopardized by the lack of participation of at-risk groups such as African Americans, with long-recognized disproportional representation. Distinct factors that deter participation in RCTs include distrust, access, recruitment strategies, perceptions of research, and socioeconomic factors. While strategies have been implemented to improve external validity with greater participation among all segments of the population in RCTs, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may exacerbate disparities in RCT participation with the potential impact of delaying treatment development and vaccine interventions that are applicable and generalizable. Thus, it is essential to include diverse populations in such strategies and RCTs. This Perspective aims to direct attention to the additional harm from the pandemic as well as a refocus on the unresolved lack of inclusion of diverse populations in conducting RCTs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Patient Selection , Pneumonia, Viral , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , African Americans , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Male , Patient Participation , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/methods , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Vulnerable Populations/ethnology
19.
Contemp Clin Trials ; 99: 106189, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-898554

ABSTRACT

Starting from historic reflections, the current SARS-CoV-2 induced COVID-19 pandemic is examined from various perspectives, in terms of what it implies for the implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions, the modeling and monitoring of the epidemic, the development of early-warning systems, the study of mortality, prevalence estimation, diagnostic and serological testing, vaccine development, and ultimately clinical trials. Emphasis is placed on how the pandemic had led to unprecedented speed in methodological and clinical development, the pitfalls thereof, but also the opportunities that it engenders for national and international collaboration, and how it has simplified and sped up procedures. We also study the impact of the pandemic on clinical trials in other indications. We note that it has placed biostatistics, epidemiology, virology, infectiology, and vaccinology, and related fields in the spotlight in an unprecedented way, implying great opportunities, but also the need to communicate effectively, often amidst controversy.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/organization & administration , Biostatistics/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Methods , Age Factors , Biomedical Research/standards , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/standards , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cause of Death , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Drug Development/organization & administration , Drug Industry/organization & administration , Endpoint Determination/standards , Europe , Health Communication/standards , Humans , Immunity, Herd/physiology , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , Prevalence , Public Opinion , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/methods , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons , Sex Factors , Time Factors
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