Skip to main content Accessibility help

Trends in randomized controlled trials in ENT: a 30-year review

  • K. W. Ah-See (a1), N. C. Molony (a1) and A. G. D. Maran (a1)


There is a growth in the demand for clinical practice to be evidence based. Recent years have seen a rise in the number of randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTS). Such trials while acknowledged as the gold standard for evidence can be difficult to perform in surgical specialities. We have recently identified a low proportion of RCTS in the otolaryngology literature. Our aim was to identify any trend in the number of published RCTS within the ENT literature over a 30-year period and to identify which areas of our speciality lend themselves to this form of study design. A Medline search of 10 prominent journals published between 1966 and 1995 was performed. Two hundred and ninety-six RCTS were identified. Only five were published before 1980. Two hundred (71 per cent) of RCTS were in the areas of otology and rhinology. An encouraging trend is seen in RCTS within ENT literature.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: K. W. Ah-See M.D., F.R.C.S., Department of Otolaryngology, The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9YW. Fax: 0131-536 6167


Hide All
Altman, D. G. (1996) Better reporting of randomised controlled trials: the CONSORT statement. British Medical Journal 313: 570571.
Begg, C., Cho, M., Eastwood, S., Horton, R., Moher, D., Olkin, I., Pitkin, R., Rennie, D., Schulz, K. F., Simel, D., Stroup, D. F. (1996) Improving the quality of reporting of randomized controlled trials: the CONSORT statement. Journal of the American Medical Association 276: 637639.
Chalmers, I., Dickersin, K., Chalmers, T. C. (1992) Getting to grips with Archie Cochrane's agenda (editorial). British Medical Journal 305: 786788.
Information and Statistics Division (ISD), Section 6 Outpatient Activity. In Scottish Health Statistics 1997, Information and Statistics Division, The NHS in Scotland (in press).
Journal Citation Reports (1992) Subject Category Listing, Otorhinolaryngology. In Science Citation Index, Institute for Scientific Information Inc., Philadelphia, USA, p 108.
Maran, A. G. D., Molony, N., Armstrong, M., Ah-See, K. W. (1997) Is there an evidence base for the practice of ENT surgery? Clinical Otolaryngology 22(2): 152157.
Medical Research Council (1948) Streptomycin treatment in pulmonary tuberculosis: a Medical Research Council investigation. British Medical Journal 2: 769782.
Sackett, D. L., Rosenberg, W. M. C., Gray, J. A. M., Haynes, R. B., Richardson, W. S. (1996) Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't. British Medical Journal 312: 7172.
Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN). (1995) Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed