Conducting and reporting trials for older people

Miles D. Witham (Lead / Corresponding author), David J. Stott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
124 Downloads (Pure)


Randomised controlled trials provide the most rigorous test of efficacy and effectiveness for interventions used in healthcare. They underpin much of clinical practice, yet older people are often excluded from studies, resulting in uncertainty about risks and benefits of new treatments.

Encouraging inclusion of older people in randomised controlled trials and reporting of trial results in a rigorous manner is a key function of clinical geriatrics journals such as Age and Ageing. This article provides practical advice on how to report randomised controlled trials that are targeted at older people. Some of these issues are generic, but there are specific requirements which apply to most studies of older people. Recording and reporting basic characteristics of recruits in terms of physical function, cognition, co-morbidity and / or frailty is vital to allow proper interpretation of the external validity of the trial. Adverse effects should include consideration of common geriatric problems including falls.

Authors should follow the CONSORT reporting guidelines (CONsolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials) to enhance the transparency and quality of their manuscript.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-894
Number of pages6
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number6
Early online date30 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Research methods
  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Older people


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