Describing deprescribing trials better: an elaboration of the CONSORT statement

Jeanet W. Blom*, Christiane Muth, Paul Glasziou, James P. McCormack, Rafael Perera, Rosalinde. K. E. Poortvliet, Mattijs E. Numans, Petra Thuermann, Ulrich Thiem, Sioe Lie Thio, Mieke Van Driel, Martin Beyer, Marjan Van den Akker, J. Andre Knottnerus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: The objective of this study was to identify key features to be addressed in the reporting of deprescribing trials and to elab-orate and explain CONSORT items in this regard.

Study Design and Setting: As a first step in a multistage process and based on a systematic review of deprescribing trials, we elab-orated variation in design, intervention, and reporting of the included trials of the review. We identified items that were missed or insufficiently described, using the CONSORT and TIDieR checklists. The resulting list of items, which we considered relevant to be reported in deprescribing trials, were discussed in a single-round Delphi exercise and subsequently in a full-day face-to-face meeting with an international panel of 14 experts. We agreed on CONSORT items for further elaboration with regard to design and reporting of deprescribing trials.

Results: We identified seven CONSORT items on trial design, participants, intervention, outcomes, flowchart, and harms, where the investigators of deprescribing trials should take into consideration specific aspects, such as whether or not to use placebo or how to inform participants.

Conclusion: This article presents an elaboration to the CONSORT statement for the reporting of deprescribing trials. It may also support investigators in motivated design choices. (c) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Deprescribing
  • Reporting guidelines
  • CONSORT statement
  • Study design
  • Primary care
  • Randomized controlled trial

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