Lebanese University, Lebanon
Title: Near Absence of Clinical Trial Registry Searching in Open Access Systematic Reviews in Physical Therapy: The Case of Low Back Pain Rehabilitation
Biography: Abou-Khzam A
Statement of the Problem: Clinical trial registries (CTR) fail in comparison with major databases. However, the registration of trials promotes transparency and reduces risk of publication bias. Many previous studies have shown that searching CTR for systematic reviews (SRs) is not present on a consistent basis. No analysis exists evaluating the extent of employing a search strategy targeting CTR in open access SRs studying the effectiveness of physical therapy interventions on low back pain (LBP).
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: PubMed was searched from 01/01/2010 to 31/12/2016 using search terms physical therapy or rehabilitation and low back pain. The search was filtered to free full text and systematic reviews. The analysis considered SRs that investigated the effectiveness of a specific physical therapy treatment (including all interventions consisting of movement, posture, physical agents, mobilization and manipulation) on the pain and/or disability of patients with LBP. Included reviews’ methods will be analyzed for the presence of CTR search. CTR accounted for in this analysis includes metaRegister of controlled trials (mRCT), clinicaltrials.gov. and 17 primary clinical trial registries identified on the International Clinical Trial Registry Platform (ICTRP) of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Results: Among the 147 yielded results, 43 SRs were included in the analysis. After the careful inspection of the search methodology of each of the included SRs, only two (~4.65%) searched at least one of the CTR. One of which admitted to but did not disclose the record resulted from searching CTR and excluded trials with missing data while the other retrieved 27 results searching mRCT and contacted authors of trials in case of missing data.
Conclusion: Searching CTR for SRs studying the effectiveness of physical therapy treatment on low back pain is clearly neglected. Future reviewers of this subject are urged to consider searching CTR.