Identifying all controlled clinical trials (CCTs) is complex due to issues associated with bias in the reporting of CCTs. One of the strategies proposed to overcome the shortcomings of electronic searches is the implementation of a rigorous and thorough handsearching approach.
To implement comprehensive handsearching to identify CCTs published in Spanish language dental journals from Spain and Latin America.
We manually and retrospectively identified CCTs published in Spanish language dental journals from Spain and 18 Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. To identify eligible journals, we searched in MEDLINE, BIREME, Scielo, LILACS, Latindex and regional databases. We performed a descriptive analysis of the main characteristics of the identified CCTs. We sent references to all identified CCTs to CENTRAL, the Cochrane repository of CCTs.
We identified a total of 107 dental journals; of which 51.4% were indexed in more than one bibliographic database. Six journals were indexed in MEDLINE (5.6%) and one in Embase (0.9%). One journal (0.9%) reported an impact factor. None of the journals had specific policies requiring adherence to CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) as a requirement for publication. We reviewed a total of 17,051 articles in eligible journals, 244 of which were CCTs (1.4%). These focused on ten dental specialties, mostly periodontics (29.0%), and oral and maxillofacial surgery (27.0%). A majority of CCTs examined interventions related to pharmacological interventions (46.0%), restorative techniques (7.0%), prosthetic rehabilitation (6.0%), or educational interventions (5.0%). Over 60.0% of studies used random treatment allocation, 20.9% were classified as quasi-randomized, and 16.4% did not specify the method of allocation of patients in the compared groups.
There is a considerable number of dental journals from Spain and Latin America that publish CCTs. However, they are not indexed in the main databases. This project fosters the visibility of these CCTs for potential inclusion in systematic reviews and and other documents of synthesis.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:
While no patients or consumers were included in this project, we expect that, by enhancing visibility of the identified CCTs, we acknowledge the contribution of participants who took part in them.