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Arnow KD, King AC, Wagner TH. Characteristics of mental health trials registered in ClinicalTrials.gov. Psychiatry Research. 2019 Nov 1; 281:112552.
The ClinicalTrials.gov registry was established in 2000 to address concerns about publication bias and public access to information about clinical trials. We aimed to evaluate differences between for-profit and non-profit sponsors of efficacy mental health trials registered in ClinicalTrials.gov on key trial characteristics that relate to data integrity. We also sought to evaluate whether the registry is fulfilling its purpose as a means of promoting transparency between researchers and the public by providing complete and quality information about the trials it contains. We found that trials tend to be small, use a placebo instead of an active comparator, and employ randomization and blinding. We discuss the implications of these design characteristics and the limitations of the registry.