Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine / 2009 / Article

Review | Open Access

Volume 6 |Article ID 365102 | 8 pages | https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem186

Evaluating the Quality of Randomized Controlled Trials that Examine the Efficacy of Natural Health Products: A Systematic Review of Critical Appraisal Instruments

Received23 May 2007
Accepted21 Dec 2007

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to conduct a systematic review to identify instruments designed to evaluate the quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of natural health products (NHPs). Instruments were examined for inclusion of items assessing methods, identity and content of the NHP, generalizability of results and instructions for use. Online databases, websites, textbooks and reference lists were searched to identify instruments. Relevance assessment and data extraction of articles were completed by two investigators and disagreements were settled by the third investigator. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Of the 4442 citations identified, 29 were potentially relevant with 16 meeting the criteria for inclusion. None of the instruments stated they were validated; content in the four areas of interest varied considerably. The most common items included randomization sequence generation (100%), blinding (100%), allocation concealment (75%) and participant flow (75%). Only nine of the NHP instruments included at least one item to appraise the specific content of the NHP. The CONSORT Statement for Herbal Interventions most closely addressed the four areas of interest; however, this instrument was specific for herbs. There is a need for the development of a validated instrument for assessment of the quality of RCTs that would be useful for herbs as well as other NHPs.

Copyright © 2009 Anne Marie Whelan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


More related articles

472 Views | 373 Downloads | 8 Citations
 PDF  Download Citation  Citation
 Order printed copiesOrder

Related articles

We are committed to sharing findings related to COVID-19 as quickly and safely as possible. Any author submitting a COVID-19 paper should notify us at help@hindawi.com to ensure their research is fast-tracked and made available on a preprint server as soon as possible. We will be providing unlimited waivers of publication charges for accepted articles related to COVID-19. Sign up here as a reviewer to help fast-track new submissions.