Funding is related to the quality, conduct, and reporting of trial reports in musculoskeletal physical therapy: A survey of 210 published trials

Esther Maas, Christopher Maher, Anne Moseley, Renske Annevelink, Jurgen Jagersma, Raymond Ostelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The relationship between trial funding and methodological quality, the conduct and reporting of trials has been investigated in several medical disciplines, but remains unclear in musculoskeletal physical therapy trials. The aim of this study was to determine the association between funding and research team composition, sample size, quality, and journal impact factor of randomized controlled trial reports in musculoskeletal physical therapy. Methods: A survey of 210 trial reports in musculoskeletal physical therapy, which were randomly selected from those published in 2011–2013 and indexed on the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), is performed. Total PEDro score and citation details of the trial reports were downloaded from PEDro. Pairs of assessors independently extracted information about funding, sample size, and composition of the research team. Journal impact factor was downloaded by one reviewer. Results: Trial funding was associated with having multiple departments in the research team (odds ratio: 1.89, 95% confidence interval: 1.03–3.49), larger sample size (median: n = 72 versus n = 50), higher quality (mean PEDro score: 6.06 versus 5.11), and publication in journals with higher impact factors (median: 2.12 versus 1.78). Conclusion: Trial funding was positively associated with having multiple departments represented in the research team, larger sample size, higher quality, and publication in higher impact factor journals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-635
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2016


  • Funding
  • methodological quality
  • musculoskeletal physiotherapy

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