ConSORT-eHealth: Improving and standardizing evaluation reports of web-based and mobile health interventions

CONSORT-EHEALTH Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

941 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Web-based and mobile health interventions (also called "Internet interventions" or "eHealth/mHealth interventions") are tools or treatments, typically behaviorally based, that are operationalized and transformed for delivery via the Internet or mobile platforms. These include electronic tools for patients, informal caregivers, healthy consumers, and health care providers. The Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement was developed to improve the suboptimal reporting of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). While the CONSORT statement can be applied to provide broad guidance on how eHealth and mHealth trials should be reported, RCTs of web-based interventions pose very specific issues and challenges, in particular related to reporting sufficient details of the intervention to allow replication and theory-building. Objective: To develop a checklist, dubbed CONSORT-EHEALTH (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials of Electronic and Mobile HEalth Applications and onLine TeleHealth), as an extension of the CONSORT statement that provides guidance for authors of eHealth and mHealth interventions. Methods: A literature review was conducted, followed by a survey among eHealth experts and a workshop. Results: A checklist instrument was constructed as an extension of the CONSORT statement. The instrument has been adopted by the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) and authors of eHealth RCTs are required to submit an electronic checklist explaining how they addressed each subitem. Conclusions: CONSORT-EHEALTH has the potential to improve reporting and provides a basis for evaluating the validity and applicability of eHealth trials. Subitems describing how the intervention should be reported can also be used for non-RCT evaluation reports. As part of the development process, an evaluation component is essential; therefore, feedback from authors will be solicited, and a before-after study will evaluate whether reporting has been improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere126
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Evaluation
  • Guidelines
  • Internet
  • Medical informatics
  • Mobile health
  • Publishing standards
  • Quality control
  • Randomized controlled trials as topic
  • Reporting standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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