Clear, transparent, and sufficiently detailed abstracts of conferences and journal articles are important, because readers often base their assessment of a trial on such information. Some readers use an abstract to decide whether to seek more information about a trial. However, in some parts of the world, readers often have access to the abstracts only, so health-care decisions may be made on the basis of abstracts of randomized trials. When a trial is reported at a conference, the abstract might provide the only permanent information accessible to most readers.
This extension to the CONSORT Statement provides a minimum list of essential items, that authors should consider when reporting the main results of a randomized trial in any journal or conference abstract. We encourage journals, and conference organisers (chairs) to endorse the use of CONSORT for Abstracts by modifying their ''Instructions to Authors'' and by drawing their readers' attention to this reporting guidance, perhaps through an editorial, or by including a link to the checklist on the conference website and by notifying the CONSORT coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) to include their journal or conference to the list of CONSORT endorsers. The most important benefit will be to enable readers to use abstracts more effectively and to aid assessment of the validity of the research.
CONSORT for Abstracts recommends that abstracts have a structured format and that the checklist is used in conjunction with its explanation and elaboration publication.
Hopewell S, Clarke M, Moher D, Wager E, Middleton P, Altman DG, Schulz KF and the CONSORT Group (2008) CONSORT for reporting randomized controlled trials in journal and conference abstracts: explanation and elaboration. PLoS Med 5(1): e20. doi:10.1371/journal. pmed.0050020. Full text pdf.
Hopewell S, Clarke M, Moher D, Wager E, Middleton P, Altman DG, Schulz KF and the CONSORT Group (2008) CONSORT for reporting randomised trials in journal and conference abstracts. Lancet: 371:281-283. Full text pdf.
Page last edited: 02 November 2010