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STRICTA has been designed to improve the standards for reporting interventions in clinical trials of acupuncture. These guidelines provide authors a way to structure their reports of interventions using a checklist. The aim is to facilitate transparency in published reports, enabling a better understanding and interpretation of results, aiding their critical appraisal, and providing detail that is necessary for replicability.
In order to facilitate the completeness and transparency of reporting on randomized controlled trials undertaken using acupuncture interventions, a consensus group of international experts developed the Standards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture (STRICTA) in 2002. This reporting guideline was updated in 2010, and was applicable to a broader range of acupuncture research, including uncontrolled trials and case reports. Subsequent evaluations have noted limitations on the impact of STRICTA in the reporting quality of acupuncture trials, and the description of acupuncture details remains poor. Thus improvement in the efficacy of the STRICTA guidelines is called for.
Through a multi-staged procedure of expert consultation, consensus workshops, draft editing, and finalization, the revised STRICTA guidelines were agreed upon, and the final document was co-published in 2010 by six medical journals (Acupuncture in Medicine, Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine, Medical Acupuncture, and PLoS Medicine) [14–19]. As a standalone checklist STRICTA 2010 became an official extension to CONSORT containing six categories with 17 sub-items. In order to minimize misunderstanding and ambiguity, specific explanations were added for each sub-item, and examples of ‘good reporting’ were included. The updated STRICTA were applicable to a broad range of clinical research, including RCTs (same as STRICTA 2002), uncontrolled studies, and case reports. Furthermore the standards were also translated into a fourth language, Russian.
The Standards for Reporting Interventions in Clinical Trials of Acupuncture (STRICTA) were published in five journals in 2001 and 2002. These guidelines, in the form of a checklist and explanations for use by authors and journal editors, were designed to improve reporting of acupuncture trials, particularly the interventions, thereby facilitating their interpretation and replication. Subsequent reviews of the application and impact of STRICTA have highlighted the value of STRICTA as well as scope for improvements and revision.To manage the revision process a collaboration between the STRICTA Group, the CONSORT Group, and the Chinese Cochrane Centre was developed in 2008. An expert panel with 47 participants was convened that provided electronic feedback on a revised draft of the checklist. At a subsequent face-to-face meeting in Freiburg, a group of 21 participants further revised the STRICTA checklist and planned dissemination. (Source: journals.plos.org)