Exercise is an effective non-pharmacological intervention for cancer survivors. However, reporting of exercise interventions is often flawed, which represents an obstacle for clinicians, researchers and survivors who wish to use this information. Further, this constitutes a barrier for those synthetizing the evidence to inform decision-making processes. As a result, the TIDieR (template for intervention description and replication) checklist was created in 2014 with the main objective of strengthening the completeness of reporting of interventions in trials, including randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
To evaluate the completeness of reporting of exercise training interventions in cancer randomized controlled trials.
We searched the MEDLINE, Embase and PEDro databases from 2010 to 2017. We included full-text articles of parallel design RCTs, in adult survivors of any type of cancer, in Spanish or English language and on exercise interventions that were compared to control or other exercise interventions. Pairs of review authors screened, extracted and applied the TIDieR checklist in piloted, standardized forms.
We included 601 full-text RCTs. We present here the preliminary results of our pilot exercise. Breast malignancies were the most common type of cancer, followed by prostate cancer. Mixed interventions (aerobic and resistance) were the most common mode (seven trials), followed by resistance training (four trials). Most of the trials (11 out of 20, 55%) showed an acceptable reporting of their interventions (scored between 5 to 8 TIDieR items). Only eight trials (40%) provided complete reporting (≥ 9 TIDieR items) and one trial had incomplete reporting of exercise interventions (≤ 4 TIDieR items). Description of tailoring, materials, adherence/fidelity and intensity of exercise were the most common missing TIDieR items, being reported in less than 30% of the trials.
Most of trials presented an acceptable reporting of their exercise interventions. Researchers need to adhere closely to the TIDieR items in order to facilitate an easier use of exercise trial findings by patients, clinicians and researchers.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:
Two cancer survivors and a healthcare provider will support the team in the interpretation, dissemination and drafting of the recommendations.