Description of controlled trials published in methods and findings, 1979-2002

J.M. García, C. Perrotta, A. Clopés, D' altri, Xavier Bonfill Cosp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


It is thought that the controlled trial (CT) is the most adequate research method to assess a therapeutic intervention in terms of efficacy, and it also constitutes the basis for the development of systematic reviews on health interventions. To identify and obtain the majority of published CTs is not an easy task, mainly because of limitations concerning the currently available electronic sources. The aim of the present work was to identify, describe, and assess the quality of CTs published in the journal Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology (M&F). Additionally, to assess the retrievability of both methods, a search was performed in Medline (PubMed access) through the use of an optimal search strategy for CTs. A total of 189 original studies out of a total of 2796 reviewed articles met the CT criteria according to the Jadad scale score, we could hold that only 58% of the CTs were of good quality. The present work confirms, once again, the limitations of a CT search performed exclusively through Medline (sensitivity 64% and specificity 98%). In conclusion, we suggest that the journal M&F explicitly joins the International CONSORT Statement. © 2006 Prous Science. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-531
JournalMethods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006


  • Controlled clinical trial
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Handsearching
  • Publication bias
  • Systematic reviews


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