Also, researchers who obtain unwelcome data from a particular subgroup of patients may be tempted to eliminate it by retrospectively introducing an additional exclusion criterion. If their protocol has been prospectively registered, however, this would be publicly evident to anyone who compared the registered protocol and the report of the trial. The first major register
for healthcare trials was established in 1998 (De Angelis et al 2004). Although thousands of trials were soon registered, the majority of trials remained unregistered. In IPI-145 in vivo 2004, clinical trial registration was endorsed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (De Angelis et al 2004). In addition to endorsing clinical trial registration, member journals of the ICMJE made prospective registration compulsory for all clinical trials that commenced participant recruitment after 1 July 2005 (De Angelis et al 2004). Many other journals also endorsed clinical trial registration
and the number of registered trials increased rapidly (Laine et al 2007). Since then, many organisations have added their support for clinical trial registration. For example, in 2008 the World Medical Association included a new item on the Declaration of Helsinki, stating that ‘Every clinical trial must be registered in a publicly accessible database before recruitment http://www.selleckchem.com/products/gsk1120212-jtp-74057.html of the first subject’ (World Medical Association 2008, p3.). Some ethics committees have made trial registration a condition of ethical approval. Although some physiotherapy journals have also encouraged clinical trial registration (Askie et al 2006, Harms 2011, Sodium butyrate Costa et al 2010), only about 6% of the randomised trials investigating the effects of physiotherapy interventions published in 2009 had been registered prospectively (Pinto 2012). In an attempt to rectify this situation, this editorial recommending prospective registration has been coauthored by several members of the International Society of Physiotherapy Journal Editors (ISPJE). The remainder of the editorial will: define which trials
should be registered; explain how researchers can register their trials; announce tougher policies about clinical trial registration that are being adopted by some member journals of the ISPJE; and identify who can contribute to ensuring that clinical trial registration achieves its potential benefits. Any clinical trial should be prospectively registered before the first participant is recruited into the study. The World Health Organization defines clinical trials as ‘any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes’ (WHO 2012). Clinical trial registration should be quick, easy, and free of charge.