Systematic review investigating the reporting of comorbidities and medication in randomized controlled trials of people with dementia


Objectives: dementia is a debilitating condition characterised by global loss of cognitive and intellectual functioning, which reduces social and occupational performance. This population frequently presents with medical co-morbidities such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The CONSORT statement outlines recommended guidance on reporting of participant characteristics in clinical trials. It is, however, unclear how much these are adhered to in trials assessing people with dementia. This paper assesses the reporting of medical co-morbidities and prescribed medications for people with dementia within randomised controlled trial (RCT) reports. Design: a systematic review of the published literature from the databases AMED, CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Clinical Trial Registry from 1 January 1997 to 9 January 2014 was undertaken in order to identify RCTs detailing baseline medical co-morbidities and prescribed medications . Eligible studies were appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) RCT appraisal tool, and descriptive statistical analyses were calculated to determine point prevalence. Results: nine trials, including 1474 people with dementia, were identified presenting medical co-morbidity data. These indicated neurological disorders ( prevalence 91%), vascular disorders (prevalence 91%), cardiac disorders ( prevalence 74%) and ischaemic cerebrovascular disease ( prevalence 53%) were most frequently seen. Conclusions: published RCTs poorly report medical co-morbidities and medications for people with dementia. Future trials should include the report of these items to allow interpretation of whether the results are generalisable to frailer older populations.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Pharmacy School
College of Health & Life Sciences > Chronic and Communicable Conditions
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Age and Ageing following peer review. The version of record Smith, T., Maidment, I., Hebding, J., Madzima, T., Cheater, F., Cross, J., ... Fox, C. (2014). Systematic review investigating the reporting of comorbidities and medication in randomized controlled trials of people with dementia. Age and ageing, 43(6), 868-872. is available online at: Supplementary data: available to subscribers in Age and Ageing online.
Uncontrolled Keywords: co-morbidity,cognitive impairment,dementia,older people,systematic review,Ageing,Geriatrics and Gerontology
Publication ISSN: 1468-2834
Last Modified: 27 May 2024 07:12
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2014 12:45
Full Text Link: http://ageing.o ... ontent/43/6/868
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2014-11-06
Published Online Date: 2014-07-19
Authors: Smith, Toby
Maidment, Ian (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4152-9704)
Hebding, Jennifer
Madzima, Tairo
Cheater, Francine
Cross, Jane
Poland, Fiona
White, Jacqueline
Young, John
Fox, Chris



Version: Accepted Version

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