Transparency and sharing individual participant data of clinical trials: A philosophical proposition about the medical study ethics and implications for clinical trials

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Clinical trial transparency, include clinical trial registration, unbiased reporting results and sharing individual participant data (IPD), is one of the most important revolutionary concepts following clinical epidemiology and evidence-based medicine in the medical field. Sharing IPD is a medical ethics issue reflected a new sense of worth and constructing new rules of clinical trials. Our viewpoint is that from the essential purpose of clinical research, IPD is a social public property. Sharing IPD is a one of the best ways for respecting the contributions of the participants, and one of the keys for changing face of clinical trials. © 2018, West China University of Medical Science. All rights reserved.

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... Besides, researchers may estimate standardization, accuracy, and completeness of the trial implementation process based on a registered protocol. 29,30 The past few years have witnessed an increase in the number of registrations, but merely 2 (4.55%) articles mentioned, and none reported specific access to full trial protocol. This may reflect the lack of awareness among researchers in the registration of trials on AT for COPD. ...
Objective: To assess the completeness of reporting in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of acupuncture therapy (AT) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Methods: We systematically searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Chongqing VIP (CQVIP), WANFANG Data, and China Biology Medicine (CBM) for studies published from their inception to May 8, 2021. The completeness of reporting was evaluated by CONSORT statement and STRICTA guidelines. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to preliminarily explore the factors related to completeness of reporting. Results: A total of 44 RCTs were included. The overall quality score (OQS) based on the CONSORT statement and STRICTA guidelines ranged from 3 to 26 and 7 to 14, with a median of 10 and 11, respectively. Among the 35 items of the CONSORT statement, 10 items were fully reported with reporting rate > 70%, and 11 items were poorly reported at a rate < 5%. Among the 17 items of the STRICTA guidelines, 10 items were adequately reported with > 70%, and only 3 items were incompletely reported at a rate < 20%. The agreement of most items was determined as "good", "substantial", or "moderate". By regression analysis, publication language (β coefficient: 6.432, 95% CI: 3.202 to 9.663, P <0.001) and funding source (β coefficient: 3.159, 95% CI: 1.045 to 5.273, P =0.004) acted as independent predictors of completeness of reporting according to the CONSORT statement. However, no variables associated with the STRICTA guidelines were identified. Conclusion: The completeness of reporting of AT for COPD was inadequate. The condition relatively improved for trials with publication in the English language and funding source. By recommendation, reports should be strictly standardized in accordance with the CONSORT statement and STRICTA guidelines to improve the clinical research evidence of AT for COPD.
... The lack of a plan to publicly share the IPD is another major problem encountered in our assessment of TCM CT registrations. The failure to support public access to full trial data compromises the authenticity of clinical trials [26]. The fact that clinical trials of COVID-19 are ongoing could be one important cause of this finding. ...
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Objective To assess the registration quality of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) clinical trials for COVID-19, H1N1, and SARS. Method We searched for clinical trial registrations of TCM in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) and Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR) on April 30, 2020. The registration quality assessment is based on the WHO Trial Registration Data Set (Version 1.3.1) and extra items for TCM information, including TCM background, theoretical origin, specific diagnosis criteria, description of intervention, and outcomes. Results A total of 136 records were examined, including 129 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (COVID-19) and 7 H1N1 influenza (H1N1) patients. The deficiencies in the registration of TCM clinical trials (CTs) mainly focus on a low percentage reporting detailed information about interventions (46.6%), primary outcome(s) (37.7%), and key secondary outcome(s) (18.4%) and a lack of summary result (0%). For the TCM items, none of the clinical trial registrations reported the TCM background and rationale; only 6.6% provided the TCM diagnosis criteria or a description of the TCM intervention; and 27.9% provided TCM outcome(s). Conclusion Overall, although the number of registrations of TCM CTs increased, the registration quality was low. The registration quality of TCM CTs should be improved by more detailed reporting of interventions and outcomes, TCM-specific information, and sharing of the result data.
... Since the first IPDMA guide published in 1995 [7], researchers have found that the process of obtaining, managing, and organizing IPD is typically the most resource intensive and time consuming step and may require years to complete [1,4,7,16,22]. Thus, many systematic reviews rely on study level data even though sharing IPD and conducting IPDMA would be more useful [8,20,[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31]. ...
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Background: Shifts in data sharing policy have increased researchers' access to individual participant data (IPD) from clinical studies. Simultaneously the number of IPD meta-analyses (IPDMAs) is increasing. However, rates of data retrieval have not improved. Our goal was to describe the challenges of retrieving IPD for an IPDMA and provide practical guidance on obtaining and managing datasets based on a review of the literature and practical examples and observations. Methods: We systematically searched MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library, until January 2019, to identify publications focused on strategies to obtain IPD. In addition, we searched pharmaceutical websites and contacted industry organizations for supplemental information pertaining to recent advances in industry policy and practice. Finally, we documented setbacks and solutions encountered while completing a comprehensive IPDMA and drew on previous experiences related to seeking and using IPD. Results: Our scoping review identified 16 articles directly relevant for the conduct of IPDMAs. We present short descriptions of these articles alongside overviews of IPD sharing policies and procedures of pharmaceutical companies which display certification of Principles for Responsible Clinical Trial Data Sharing via Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America or European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations websites. Advances in data sharing policy and practice affected the way in which data is requested, obtained, stored and analyzed. For our IPDMA it took 6.5 years to collect and analyze relevant IPD and navigate additional administrative barriers. Delays in obtaining data were largely due to challenges in communication with study sponsors, frequent changes in data sharing policies of study sponsors, and the requirement for a diverse skillset related to research, administrative, statistical and legal issues. Conclusions: Knowledge of current data sharing practices and platforms as well as anticipation of necessary tasks and potential obstacles may reduce time and resources required for obtaining and managing data for an IPDMA. Sufficient project funding and timeline flexibility are pre-requisites for successful collection and analysis of IPD. IPDMA researchers must acknowledge the additional and unexpected responsibility they are placing on corresponding study authors or data sharing administrators and should offer assistance in readying data for sharing.
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