Article Text

Download PDFPDF
What makes a great clinical trial? Exploring the features of five important physiotherapy trials
  1. Anita B Amorim1,2,
  2. Joshua R Zadro2,3,
  3. Anne M Moseley2,3
  1. 1Sydney School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Institute for Musculoskeletal Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. 3Sydney School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anita B Amorim, Sydney School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia; anita.amorim{at}sydney.edu.au

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Some clinical trials are landmark trials that grab international attention. Others fail to excite. What is the difference between a great trial and a mediocre trial? A recent initiative provides some insights.

The Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) is a free, online database of randomised trials, systematic reviews and practice guidelines in physiotherapy. To mark PEDro’s 20th anniversary, physiotherapists worldwide were invited to nominate randomised trials published in 2014–2019 that answered important clinical questions in a robust and innovative way (online supplementary file A). A panel of experts in clinical trials judged the nominations and established the top five trials: LIPPSMAck POP,1 SARAH,2 AVERT,3 HIHO4 and UK FASHIoN5 (table 1). The lessons learnt from the top five trials are relevant to trials in sports and exercise medicine because they all tested exercise interventions against other models of care (ie, phase III).

Supplemental material

[bjsports-2020-102088supp001.pdf]

View this table:
Table 1

Description of the top five trials

What can the sport and exercise community learn?

Not every sports physiotherapist would think about upper abdominal surgery, but ‘Exercise is Medicine’ and physiotherapy can play a major role in preventing serious, common and costly pulmonary complications. LIPPSMAck POP1 demonstrated that a single …

View Full Text

Footnotes

  • Twitter @Anitabamorim

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. A typographical error was corrected in the fifth paragraph.

  • Contributors All authors were involved in developing this editorial. AMM, ABA and JRZ discussed the idea. ABA drafted the manuscript. JRZ and AMM reviewed the manuscript and approved the final version submitted.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.