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Underreporting of the active content of behavioural interventions: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials of smoking cessation interventions

de Bruin, M; Black, N; Javornik, N; Viechtbauer, W; Eisma, M; Hartman-Boyce, J; Jess WIlliams, A; ... Johnston, M; + view all (2020) Underreporting of the active content of behavioural interventions: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials of smoking cessation interventions. Health Psychology Review 10.1080/17437199.2019.1709098. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Despite its importance, underreporting of the active content of experimental and comparator interventions in published literature has not been previously examined for behavioural trials. We assessed completeness and variability in reporting in 142 randomised controlled trials of behavioural interventions for smoking cessation published between 1/1996 and 11/2015. Two coders reliably identified the potential active components of experimental and comparator interventions (activities targeting behaviours key to smoking cessation and qualifying as behaviour change techniques, BCTs) in published, and in unpublished materials obtained from study authors directly. Unpublished materials were obtained for 129/204 (63%) experimental and 93/142 (65%) comparator groups. For those, only 35% (1200/3403) of experimental and 26% (491/1891) of comparator BCTs could be identified in published materials. Reporting quality (#published BCTs/#total BCTs) varied considerably between trials and between groups within trials. Experimental (vs. comparator) interventions were better reported (B(SE) = 0.34 (0.11), p < .001). Unpublished materials were more often obtained for recent studies (B(SE) = 0.093 (0.03), p = .003) published in behavioural (vs. medical) journals (B(SE) = 1.03 (0.41), p = .012). This high variability in underreporting of active content compromises reader's ability to interpret the effects of individual trials, compare and explain intervention effects in evidence syntheses, and estimate the additional benefit of an experimental intervention in other settings.

Type: Article
Title: Underreporting of the active content of behavioural interventions: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials of smoking cessation interventions
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/17437199.2019.1709098
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/17437199.2019.1709098
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Systematic review, behaviour change technique, control group, intervention group, randomised controlled trial, reporting
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10090042
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