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Aims: Adherence to pharmacological interventions in clinical trials is crucial for accurate identification of beneficial and adverse outcomes. The ways in which adherence to interventions should be reported in trial publications are described in the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR), a 12-item extension of the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials reporting guidelines. The objective of this study was to assess compliance with TIDieR Items 11 and 12 of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of interventions in SARS-CoV-2 infection published in 5 selected journals during 2021. Methods: We assessed pharmacological interventions for SARS-CoV-2 infection reported in RCTs published in 2021 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, The BMJ, JAMA, The Lancet and The New England Journal for Medicine for compliance with TIDieR items addressing intervention adherence (Items 11 and 12). We calculated proportional adherence for pharmacological and comparator interventions where available. Results: We found 75 eligible RCTs. Twenty-eight (37%) reported results of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. Compliance with Items 11 and 12 could be assessed in 71 of these 75. Of the 71 RCTs, 37 (52%) reported how adherence was assessed (Item 11), and 70 reported adherence rates (Item 12). Only 1 of the 71 RCTs (1.4%, 0–7.6%) fully complied with TIDieR Items 11 and 12. Conclusion: Half of RCTs of SARS-CoV-2 pharmacological interventions published in leading medical journals in 2021 complied with reporting of how adherence assessments were made and almost none complied with both TIDieR Items 11 and 12. The implications for interpretation, application and replication of findings based on these publications warrant consideration.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

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