Knowledge translation concerns for the CONSORT-PRO extension reporting guidance: a review of reviews

Rebecca Mercieca-bebber, Olalekan Lee Aiyegbusi, Madeleine T. King, Michael Brundage, Claire Snyder, Melanie Calvert

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This review of reviews aimed to appraise the use of the CONSORT-PRO Extension as an evaluation tool for assessing the reporting of patient-reported outcome (PROs) in publications, and to describe the reporting of PRO research across reviews. We also outlined how variation in such evaluations impacts knowledge translation and may lead to potential misuse of the CONSORT-PRO Extension. We systematically searched Medline, Pubmed and CINAHL from 2013 to 2025 March 2021 for reviews of the completeness of reporting of PRO endpoints according to CONSORT-PRO criteria. Two reviewers extracted details of each review, the percentage of included studies that addressed each CONSORT-PRO item, and key recommendations from each review. Fourteen reviews met inclusion criteria, and only six of these used the full CONSORT-PRO checklist with minimal justified modifications. The remaining eight studies made significant or unjustified adjustments to the CONSORT-PRO Extension. Review studies also varied in how they scored multi-component CONSORT-PRO items. CONSORT-PRO items were often unreported in trial reports, and certain CONSORT-PRO items were reported less often than others. The reporting of statistical approaches to dealing with missing PRO data were poor in RCTs included in all 14 review articles. Studies reviewing PRO publications often omitted recommended CONSORT-PRO items from their evaluations, which may cause confusion among readers regarding how best to report their PRO research according to the CONSORT-PRO extension. Many trials published since CONSORT-PRO’s release did not report recommended CONSORT-PRO items, which may lead to misinterpretation and consequently to research waste.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2939-2957
Number of pages19
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2022


  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Quality of life
  • Reporting
  • Research methodology
  • Research waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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