A scale for rating the quality of psychological trials for pain

University of Bath, Bath, England, United Kingdom
Pain (Impact Factor: 5.21). 11/2005; 117(3):314-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2005.06.018
Source: PubMed


This paper reports the development of a scale for assessing the quality of reports of randomised controlled trials for psychological treatments. The Delphi method was used in which a panel of 15-12 experts generated statements relating to treatment and design components of trials. After three rounds, statements with high consensus agreement were reviewed by a second expert panel and rewritten as a scale. Evidence to support the reliability and validity of the scale is reported. Three expert and five novice raters assessed sets of 31 and 25 published trials to establish scale reliability (ICC ranges from 0.91 to 0.41 for experts and novices, respectively) and item reliability (Kappa and inter-rater agreement). The total scale score discriminated between trials globally judged as good and poor by experts, and trial quality was shown to be a function of year of publication. Uses for the scale are suggested.

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    • "Further exploration will be needed to clarify differences in efficacy between hypnosis and guided imagery or PMR. TA and HF rated methodological quality using procedures described in Yates et al. (2005). All methodological quality indices revealed lower scores as compared to previous studies (Eccleston, Palermo, et al., 2009; Eccleston, Williams, et al., 2009). "
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    • "A panel usually consists of 15 to 30 participants [18], between 12 and 20 being considered optimal [18,20]. Typically three rounds of questionnaires are sent to the expert panel, although the decision over the number of rounds is largely pragmatic and often varies between two and four partly depending on the quality and rates of response [20-22]. Participants’ responses are anonymised to ensure that the influence of peer pressure on respondents’ opinions is minimised [23]. "
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