Randomized Trials Performed by German University Departments of Family Medicine

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2016.0259-0264

Ergebnisse einer systematischen Übersichtsarbeit

Results of a Systematic Review

german translation / full article

Keywords: Randomized Controlled Trials Family Medicine Bias Systematic Review Germany

Background: We performed a systematic review to provide an overview of the objectives, methods, quality and results of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) performed by German university departments of family medicine.

Methods: RCTs and protocols of RCTs published between 2000 and 2014 were included in the analysis if the first or last author was affiliated to the family medicine department of a German Medical School. Trials were searched in the database Scopus and by checking publication lists of the departments.

Results: Thirty-three RCTs (62 publications) for which at least preliminary results were available and 17 study protocols (17 publications) were included in the analysis. The number of completed trials and protocols markedly increased between 2000 and 2014. Cluster-randomized health service research studies investigating process-oriented interventions were the most frequent type of studies, with some trials being very large. Fifteen of the 36 existing departments were involved in at least one trial. The risk of bias was high in many trials; however, this was at least partly due to the fact that often complex interventions were investigated for which blinding was not feasible. Published study protocols suggest that increasing methodological expertise and networking will lead to better quality of future studies.

Conclusions: An increasing number of German family medicine departments is able to perform high quality RCTs.

(State: 15.06.2016)

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