Kenneth McLeroy

Editor, Framing Health Matters AJPH


    One of the critical issues facing consumers of scientific information, including researchers, publishers of scientific information, and the population at large is how to assure the quality of information that is reviewed, published, and distributed. In the mid-1990's, in order to improve the quality of clinical trial reporting, a group of specialists in clinical trials including statisticians, epidemiologists, and biomedical editors developed requirements for reporting randomized trials referred to as the Consolidated Statement of Reporting Trials (CONSORT). The CONSORT statement is a flow diagram and checklist of 22 items that should be reported.


    The CONSORT criteria have been adopted by over 150 of the major health and public health journals, as well as many of the major associations of science and medical journal editors. The original 1998 statement was revised in 2001 with additional modifications proposed for: (1) parallel-group randomized trials; (2) the reporting of harms in randomized trials; (3) cluster randomized trials; and (4) randomized trials of non-pharmacological treatments. Moreover, reporting criteria have also been proposed for Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Non-Randomized Designs (TREND).


    The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) has long supported both CONSORT and TREND criteria for appropriate research articles published in the Journal. Moreover, the Journal formally adopted the TREND statement in 2004 (AJPH,94:361-366) and the CONSORT criteria at the April, 2008, meeting of the Editors and Editorial Board. We will be publishing more information about CONSORT and TREND in future issues of the Journal.        


Suggested resources:

Moher, D, Schulz, KF, Altman, DG, for the Consort Group. “The Consort Statement: Revised recommendations for improving the quality of reports of parallel-group randomized trials.” The Lancet, 2001, 357:1191-1194.


Des Jarlais, DC, Lyles, C, Crepaz, N, and the TREND Group. “Improving the reporting quality of nonrandomized evaluations of behavioral and public health interventions: The TREND statement.” AJPH, 2004, 94:361-366.


Armstrong, R, Waters, E, Moore, L, Riggs, E, Cuervo, LG, Lumbiganon, P, and Hawe, P. “Improving the reporting of public health intervention research: advancing TREND and CONSORT. Journal of Public Health, 2008, 30(1):103-109.