The use of reporting guideline is directed at enhancing the completeness and transparency of biomedical publications. The aims of this paper are to present some of the key initiatives and guidelines providing indications and directions on the use of specific tools in oral health research.
The EQUATOR Network and five established guidelines (CONSORT, STROBE, PRISMA, CARE and SPIRIT) are introduced.
Five guidelines are presented covering reporting of case reports, non-randomized studies, randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews. The importance of adherence to these guidelines by oral health researchers is emphasized.
Endorsement and robust implementation of reporting guidelines will translate into improved and more complete reporting in health research. Moreover, by ingraining the use of guidelines, it may be possible to indirectly improve the methodological quality of clinical studies. Active implementation strategies to encourage adherence to these guidelines among researchers, reviewers, editors and publishers may be an important facet in the advancement of knowledge in dentistry.
Inadequate reporting of research can lead to wasted research resources and risks publication of inaccurate or misleading findings with implications on healthcare decisions. Familiarity and diligent compliance with methodological and reporting guidelines are therefore essential to maximize the yield from dental research.