Background: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing in Western countries, including in the area of dermatology. However, Western healthcare providers have not integrated CAM into regular practice owing to a lack of reliable data supporting its use. To encourage high-quality research related to the use of CAM and specifically herbal interventions, the CONsolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) extension criteria on reporting herbal interventions (hCONSORT) were published in 2006. Objectives: To evaluate the adherence of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating herbal interventions for acne, atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis to the hCONSORT criteria. Methods: A comprehensive search of the PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library databases was conducted. RCTs published between 2009 and 2014 assessing therapeutic outcomes of plant-based interventions for acne, AD or psoriasis were included. Investigators determined the number of unique hCONSORT criteria satisfied per report. anova was used to examine differences in scores by disease entity. Results: The vast majority of reviewed studies reported < 50% of information recommended in the hCONSORT criteria. Limitations include the small number of dermatological conditions examined, exclusion of reports based on language and lack of assessment of overall adherence to CONSORT criteria. Conclusions: Our data indicate lack of adherence to hCONSORT extension criteria. Adherence to hCONSORT guidelines should be encouraged in order to provide high-quality reporting of research on herbal interventions in dermatology. Doing so may ease the integration of CAM into conventional medical practice and provide actionable data to providers.
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