An assessment of factors associated with quality of randomized controlled trials for smoking cessation

Hong Fan, Fujian Song, Hai Gu, Jianming Wang, Guizhen Jia, Moyuan Lu, Jiao Qian, Lei Wang, Jiemiao Shen, Zhewen Ren

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To reduce smoking-related diseases, a research priority is to develop effective interventions for smoking cessation, and evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is usually considered to be the most valid. However, findings from RCTs may still be misleading due to methodological flaws. This study aims to assess the quality of 1083 RCTs of smoking cessation interventions in 41 relevant Cochrane Systematic Reviews (CSRs). Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify significant variables associated with the quality of RCTs. It was found that evidence for smoking cessation from RCTs was predominantly from high income countries, and the overall quality was high in only 8.6% of the RCTs. High quality RCTs tended to have a larger sample size, to be more recently published, and conducted in multiple countries belonging to different income categories. In conclusion, the overall quality of RCTs of smoking cessation interventions is far from perfect, and more RCTs in less developed countries are required to generate high grade evidence for global tobacco control. Collaboration between researchers in developed and less developed countries should be encouraged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53762-53771
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2016

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