Assessing the quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is important and relatively new. Quality gives us an estimate of the likelihood that the results are a valid estimate of the truth. We present an annotated bibliography of scales and checklists developed to assess quality. Twenty-five scales and nine checklists have been developed to assess quality. The checklists are most useful in providing investigators with guidelines as to what information should be included in reporting RCTs. The scales give readers a quantitative index of the likelihood that the reported methodology and results are free of bias. There are several shortcomings with these scales. Future scale development is likely to be most beneficial if questions common to all trials are assessed, if the scale is easy to use, and if it is developed with sufficient rigor.
"In order to compare the quality of the included studies with the previous systematic review of Vancampfort et al. (2012) and to assess for potential bias in the trials, each study was evaluated with the previously validated 5-point Jadad scale (Jadad et al., 1996; Clark et al., 1999; Moher et al., 1995). A score of 0 to 5 is assigned, with higher scores indicating higher quality in the conduct or reporting of a trial. "
Psychiatry Research 08/2015; 229(3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.07.083 · 2.47 Impact Factor
"It is widely accepted that the quality of a study may affect its results (Chambless & Hollon, 1998; Lincoln & Rief, 2004; Moher et al., 1995; Schulz, Chalmers, Hayes, & Altman, 1995). Aspects of study quality may influence the calculated effect size directly or indirectly, for example, the calculated effect size may increase when study dropouts are not included in the analyses or may decrease when several outcome domains are considered (see Liebherz, Schmidt, & Rabung, submitted for review). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although it is widely accepted that the quality of a study may affect its results, there is no agreed specific standard for assessing the quality of psychotherapy outcome studies. This study aims to review the existing variety of relevant quality assessment criteria.
We identified relevant quality measures based on a systematic literature search. To determine the specific relevance of the available quality criteria, we consulted experts in the field of psychotherapy outcome research.
Nineteen different measures providing 185 different quality criteria were included. Four measures specifically focused psychotherapy studies, none of these were designed for studies without a control group. Experts did judge 20% of the items as "absolutely indispensable."
Quality criteria that are exclusively related to the context of psychotherapy research are rare. Further research is required to examine the empirical relation between specific quality criteria and study results.
Psychotherapy Research 07/2015; DOI:10.1080/10503307.2015.1044763 · 1.75 Impact Factor
"More recently, the Cochrane Collaboration has espoused a new tool designed to appraise the risk of bias inherent in nonrandomized studies , although it has yet to find wider application. Similarly, in an assessment of interventional SRs, Moher et al.  identified 25 unique tools used in the evaluation of methodological quality of clinical trials. Many of these were found to lack accepted theoretical basis and varied in respect of their size, complexity, and regarding the weight attributed to individual methodological aspects such as randomization procedures or blinding. "
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