Reporting of flow diagrams in randomised controlled trials published in periodontology and implantology: a survey

Hanns Gustav Julius Meyer, Nikolaos Pandis, Jadbinder Seehra, Clovis Mariano Faggion*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Item 13 of the CONSORT guidelines recommends documentation of the participant flow in randomised clinical trials (RCTs) using a diagram. In the medical literature, the reporting of the flow of participants in RCTs has been assessed to be inadequate. The quality of reporting flow diagrams in periodontology and implantology remains unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the reporting of flow diagrams in RCTs published in periodontology and implantology journals. Materials and Methods: RCTs published between 15th January 2018 and 15th January 2022 in twelve high-ranked periodontology and implantology journals were identified. Trial characteristics at the RCT level were extracted. The flow diagram included in each RCT was assessed for completeness of reporting in relation to published criteria and the CONSORT flow diagram template. Results: From the 544 eligible articles, 85% were single-centre, 82% of parallel-group design and 79% investigated surgical interventions. Three-hundred and fifteen (58%) articles were published in CONSORT endorsing journals. A flow diagram was reported in 317 (58%) trials and reporting was more common in periodontology (73.1%). Overall, 56% of publications with a flow diagram reported a complete CONSORT flow diagram, while in 44% of flow diagrams, at least one point from the CONSORT reporting template was missing. Reasons for loss to follow-up (69.7%) and exclusions from the RCT analysis (86.4%) were poorly reported. Conclusion: The reporting of flow diagrams in periodontology and implantology RCTs was sub-optimal. Greater awareness of the importance of fully completing the participant CONSORT flow diagram is required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Dental implants
  • Evidence-based dentistry
  • Methodological study
  • Methods
  • Periodontics
  • Randomised controlled trials


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