Comparison of the methodological quality of RCTs using RoB-2 and JBI tools: performing of medical students

Date & Time
Tuesday, September 5, 2023, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Location Name
Session Type
Merlano Madera F1, Guzmán Medrano A1, Reyes Altamar J1, Madera M2
1Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia, Colombia
2Department of Research, Faculty of Dentistry, Universidad de Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia, Colombia

Background: The risk of bias assessment is an essential step during the development of systematic reviews, which have an important role in the decision-making process and the translation of evidence into practice. Among the instruments to assess the methodological quality of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are the Cochrane’s Risk-of-Bias-2 (RoB2) and the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) tools. However, the performance of undergraduate medical students using those two instruments is unknown, so it is necessary to determine whether there are differences in the overall assessment depending on the instrument used and the students’ perception during their use.
Objectives: To compare the methodological quality of RCTs on treatments for advanced head and neck cancer using the RoB-2 and JBI tools by medical students.
Methods: An electronic search was carried out in MEDLINE (via PubMed), EMBASE (via Ovid), LILACS, Cochrane registry (Library of Cochrane), and gray literature to identify RCTs assessing the effectiveness of any treatment for advanced head and neck cancer. The methodological quality of the studies was evaluated independently by a group of 5th-year medical students using RoB-2 and JBI tools. Data on general characteristics of the studies, participants, and characteristics of interventions were extracted by duplication. Likewise, students’ perceptions of the use of both tools were collected. A descriptive analysis was conducted.
Results: The literature search yielded 1147 records, of which only 34 RCTs met the eligibility criteria, which were published between 2015 and 2021. Using RoB-2, 13 studies were rated as “high”, 11 studies were rated as “some concerns”, and 10 were rated as “low” risk of bias, whereas, using JBI, the mean score was 9.4, ranging from 7 to 13. There were differences in terms of the overall methodological quality of RCTs performed by medical students.
Conclusions: Both instruments performed quite differently on the overall methodological quality of RCTs on therapeutic interventions for advanced head and neck cancers. Overall, using the RoB-2 tool, a greater number of studies were classified as “high risk” of bias. However, most medical students considered the JBI tool as more user-friendly during its application. Patient, public, and/or healthcare consumer involvement: None