Abstracts of randomised controlled trials in the field of dentofacial trauma: Reporting quality and spin

Xiaolin Fang, Feiyang Guo, Zhi Chen, Fang Hua, Lu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aim: Abstracts of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) provide a
summary of the entire trial report. Their transparent, detailed, and accurate reporting is essential for clinical decision-making and evidence-based dental practice. The aim of this study was to assess the reporting quality and prevalence of spin in abstracts of RCTs in the field of dentofacial trauma.

Materials and Methods: The PubMed database was searched to identify RCT reports published between 2017 and 2021 in the field of dentofacial trauma. The reporting quality of abstracts was assessed according to the 16-item CONSORT for Abstracts checklist and measured with an overall quality score (OQS, range: 0–16). Linear regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with reporting quality. Among the included RCTs, parallel-group RCTs with non-significant primary outcomes were selected for spin assessment using predefined spin strategies.

Results: One hundred and twelve eligible abstracts were identified and included. The mean OQS was 4.51 (SD, 1.35; 95 % CI, 4.26–4.76). Abstracts with more than 250 words (P = 0.004) and a structured format (P = 0.032) had significantly better reporting quality. Of the 30 abstracts that were eligible for spin assessment, spin was identified in 23 (76.7%). Among these, spin was observed in the Conclusions sections of 22 abstracts (73.3%) and the Results sections of 9 abstracts (30.0%).

Conclusions: Among RCT abstracts in the field of dentofacial trauma, the reporting quality was sub-optimal and the prevalence of spin was relatively high. Strict adherence to the CONSORT for Abstracts guidelines is needed to ensure complete and transparent reporting. Relevant stakeholders need to make concerted efforts to avoid spin.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDental Traumatology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 Dec 2022


  • abstracts
  • dentofacial trauma
  • randomised controlled trials
  • reporting quality
  • spin


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