The Randomised Controlled Trials Rehabilitation Checklist (RCTRACK). Methodology of development of a reporting guideline specific to rehabilitation

RCTRACK promoters, Stefano Negrini, Susan Armijo-Olivo, Michele Patrini, Walter R Frontera, Allen W Heinemann, Wendy Machalicek, John Whyte, Chiara Arienti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: One of the goals of Cochrane Rehabilitation is to strengthen methodology relevant to Evidence Based Clinical Practice. Towards this goal, several research activities have been performed in rehabilitation literature: a scoping review listed the methodological issues in research, a study showed the low clinical replicability of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT), two systematic reviews showed the relevant items in reporting guidelines, and a series of papers discussed main methodological issues as a result of the first Cochrane Rehabilitation Methodological Meeting (Paris 2018). The need to improve the quality of conduct and reporting of research studies in rehabilitation emerged as a relevant task. The aim of this paper is to present the RCT Rehabilitation Checklists (RCTRACK) project to produce a specific reporting Guideline in rehabilitation.

METHODS: The project followed a combination of the CONSORT and EQUATOR Network methodologies. The project includes five phases. Kick-off: first consensus meeting and Executive and Advisory Committees identification. Data collection and synthesis: 8 Working Groups will produce knowledge synthesis products (systematic or scoping reviews) to compile items relevant to reporting of RCTs in rehabilitation. The topics will be: patient selection; blinding; treatment group; control group and co-interventions; attrition, follow up and protocol deviation; outcomes; statistical analysis and appropriate randomization; research questions.; Guidelines development: drafting of a document with the guidelines through a consensus meeting. Delphi process consensus: Delphi study involving all the rehabilitation research and methodological community. Final Consensus Meeting and publication.

CONCLUSION: RCTRACK will be an important contribution to the rehabilitation field and will impact several groups of rehabilitation stakeholders worldwide. The main goal is to improve the quality of the evidence produced in rehabilitation research. RCTRACK also wants to improve the recognition and understanding of rehabilitation within Cochrane and the scientific and medical community at large.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 16 2019


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