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Table 1 Characteristics of RCTs in critically ill adult patients

From: Patient-important outcomes in randomized controlled trials in critically ill patients: a systematic review

Characteristic RCTs without any patient-important outcomes no. (%) RCTs reporting at least one patient-important outcome no. (%) P value
Total–n 39 73  
Funding    0.04
Public 14 (36) 42 (57)  
Industry 6 (15) 8 (11)  
Both public and private 18 (46) 10 (14)  
Not reported or unclear 1 (3) 13 (18)  
Geographical area    
Europe 12 (31) 34 (47)  
Asia 18 (46) 19 (26)  
North America 4 (10) 16 (22)  
Oceania 3 (8) 9 (12)  
South America 2 (5) 8 (11)  
Africa 0 (0) 5 (7)  
International (>1 country) 0 (0) 18 (25)  
Number of center(s)    0.005
Monocenter 29 (74) 33 (45)  
Multicenter 8 (21) 38 (52)  
Unclear 2 (5) 2 (3)  
Sample size    0.01
<50 16 (41) 16 (22)  
50–100 7 (18) 14 (19)  
100–150 6 (15) 5 (7)  
150–500 7 (18) 20 (27)  
>500 3 (8) 18 (25)  
Topic of the study a  
Mechanical ventilation 14 (36) 16 (22) 0.011
Sepsis 2 (5) 19 (26) 0.007
Nutrition 5 (13) 14 (19) 0.39
Infection 8 (21) 10 (14)  
Hemodynamics 2 (5) 4 (5)  
ARDS 2 (5) 7 (10)  
Cardiac arrest 2 (5) 4 (5)  
Trauma 3 (8) 3 (4)  
Sedation 2 (5) 1 (1)  
Acute kidney injury 1 (3) 3 (4)  
Pain 2 (5) 2 (3)  
Neurocritical care 1 (3)   
Hematological issue 1 (3) 2 (3)  
Rehabilitation/physical and/or cognitive therapy 2 (5)   
Metabolic disorder 1 (3)   
Burns 0 (0) 1 (1)  
ECMO 0 (0) 1 (1)  
Electric muscle stimulation 1 (3)   
Music 1 (3)   
Type of intervention    0.37
Therapeutic strategy 14 (36) 32 (44)  
Drug 13 (33) 24 (33)  
Device 6 (15) 7 (10)  
Monitoring 2 (5) 1 (1)  
Diagnostic strategy 0 (0) 4 (5)  
Other 4 (10) 5 (7)  
Unit of randomization    0.74
Patient 35 (90) 67 (92)  
Service 2 (5) 3 (4)  
Time 1 (3) 1 (1)  
Other 1 (3) 2 (3)  
Type of trial    1.00
Superiority 38 (97) 70 (96)  
Equivalence or non-inferiority 1 (3) 3 (4)  
Follow-up    
Fixed time point 22 (56) 41 (56)  
Median months [IQR] 0.5 [0.5–1] 3 [1–9] 0.0002
ICU 7 (18) 7 (10)  
Hospital 3 (8) 12 (16)  
Unreported 7 (18) 13 (18)  
  1. The numbers in parentheses mean the percentage; ECMO: extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  2. A study can appear in more than one row for geographical area
  3. aOne study could have more than one topic