Objective To determine how well exercise interventions are reported in trials in health and disease.
Design Overview of systematic reviews.
Data sources PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus and PsycINFO from inception until June 2021.
Eligibility criteria Reviews of any health condition were included if they primarily assessed quality of exercise intervention reporting using the Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT) or the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR). We assessed review quality using a modified version of A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews.
Results We identified 7804 studies and included 28 systematic reviews. The median (IQR) percentage of CERT and TIDieR items appropriately reported was 24% (19%) and 49% (33%), respectively. TIDieR items 1, Brief name (median=100%, IQR 4) and 2, Why (median=98%, IQR 6), as well as CERT item 4, Supervision and delivery (median=68%, IQR 89), were the best reported. For replication of exercise interventions, TIDieR item 8, When and how much, was moderately well reported (median=62%, IQR 68) although CERT item 8, Description of each exercise to enable replication (median=23%, IQR 44) and item 13, Detailed description of the exercise intervention (median=24%, IQR 66) were poorly reported. Quality of systematic reviews ranged from moderate to critically low quality.
Conclusion Exercise interventions are poorly reported across a range of health conditions. If exercise is medicine, then how it is prescribed and delivered is unclear, potentially limiting its translation from research to practice.
PROSPERO registration number CRD42021261285; Open Science Framework: osf.io/my3ec/.
- sports medicine
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Twitter @HJHansford, @AidanCashin, @ADHagstrom, @pain_neura, @Mattjones0203
Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. Author names have been updated.
Contributors MDJ is the guarantor and conceived the study. HJH and MDJ wrote the first draft of the protocol and manuscript. HJH, MAW, AGC and MDJ conducted article screening. HJH, MAW, AGC, AH, BKC and MDJ extracted data. MDJ assisted in interpreting the data. HJH conducted data analysis. All authors contributed importantly to the content and style of the protocol and manuscript. All authors approved the final version.
Funding MAW was supported by a Postgraduate Scholarship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, a School of Medical Sciences Top-Up Scholarship from the University of New South Wales, and a PhD Supplementary Scholarship from Neuroscience Research Australia.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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