Impact of Randomized Controlled Trials Conducted by Pediatric Critical Care Research Networks

Choong K, Duffett M, Hanney I, Cook DJ, Randolph AG.

Aims & objectives

An objective of research networks is to foster and execute high-quality clinical research. We compared randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted by pediatric critical care research networks, to non-network trials.

Methods

We included all English-language RCTs from the Evidence in Pediatric Intensive Care Collaborative database (epicc.mcmaster.ca), published from the year of the rst reported network trial (1999), to October 1013. Trials were considered to be conducted by a research network if specified in the methods. Outcomes of interest were a) productivity, as defined by the size, efficiency and number of trials; b) quality, as determined by the risk of bias; and c) impact, as determined by the journal impact factor (IF) and citation rate.

Results

There were a total of 251 RCTs, 11 (4%) of which were conducted by a research network. Compared to non-network trials, research network RCTs were more often multi-centered (100% vs. 15%, p<0.001) successfully funded (100% vs. 52%; p=0.004), and larger (median sample size 152 vs. 50; p= 0.004). Network trials were published in higher impact journals (median IF 11 vs. 3; p=0.003), and cited more frequently; median 9 vs. 2 citations per year; p=0.003. Trials conducted by research networks more often reported being stopped early, 55% vs 12%, p=0.01.

Conclusions

While a minority pediatric critical care RCTs are conducted by research networks, they appear to be of higher quality and impact, when compared to non-network trials. Such networks may serve as models for high quality research in pediatric critical care.

This poster was presented at the World Congress on Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care (May 2014; Istanbul, Turkey).