The 2001 STRICTA Recommendations for Reporting Acupuncture Research: A Review with Implications for Improving Controlled Clinical Trial Design.
Author(s): Dorsher PT
Affiliation(s): Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.
Publication date & source: 2009-02-01, J Altern Complement Med., [Epub ahead of print]
Abstract Background: The Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines were developed in 1996 by researchers and journal editors to improve the quality of reporting of biomedical research by providing a standardized format for researchers to present information on randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs). This improved data reporting allows readers to independently assess the quality and conclusions of these studies, and has been widely incorporated in contemporary research reports. In 2001, a supplemental set of criteria that specifically address the reporting of design and implementation issues for RCTs involving the use of acupuncture was introduced, termed the STRICTA (Standards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture) recommendations. The CONSORT guidelines are stated to be part of a broader effort to improve the quality of research, as they can be used by researchers to optimize the design of future trials. Similarly, the STRICTA recommendations outline research reporting standards that are and should be considered when designing controlled clinical trials that involve the use of acupuncture. The CONSORT and STRICTA recommendations thus not only serve to improve research reporting, but also serve to provide guidance for optimizing the designs of future clinical trials. Objectives: This paper presents a review of the STRICTA recommendations for reporting the results of controlled trials utilizing acupuncture, discusses their potential limitations, and offers suggestions for additions/enhancements to those standards based on research issued subsequent to the issuance of the STRICTA recommendations in 2001.