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Usefulness of applying research reporting guidelines as Writing Aid software: a crossover randomised controlled trial

Abstract : Objectives To assess the intention of using a Writing Aid software, which integrates four research reporting guidelines (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials, Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, Strengtheningthe Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology and STrengtheningthe Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology-nutritional epidemiology) and their Elaboration & Explanation (E&E) documents during the write-up of research in Microsoft Word compared with current practices. Design Two-arms crossover randomised controlled trial with no blinding and no washout period. Setting Face-to-face or online sessions. Participants 54 (28 in arm 1 and 26 in arm 2) doctoral arid postdoctoral researchers. Interventions Reporting guidelines and their E&E document were randomly administered as Writing Aid or as Word documents in a single 30 min to 1 hour session, with a short break before crossing over to the other study intervention. Primary and secondary outcomes Using the Technology Acceptance Model, we assessed the primary outcome: the difference in the mean of intention of use; and secondary outcomes: the difference in mean perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness. The three outcomes were measured using questions with a 7-point Likert-scale. Secondary analysis using structural equation modelling (SEM) was applied to explore the relationships between the outcomes. Results No significant difference in reported intention of use (mean difference and 95% CI 0.25 (-0.05 to 0.55), p=0.10), and perceived usefulness (mean difference and 95% CI 0.19 (-0.04 to 0.41), p=0.10). The Writing Aid performed significantly better than the word document on researchers' perceived ease of use (mean difference and 95% CI 0.59 (0.29 to 0.89), p<0.001). In the SEM analysis, participants' intention of using the tools was indirectly affected by perceived ease of use (beta 0.53 p=0.002). Conclusions Despite no significant difference in the intention of use between the tools, administering reporting guidelines as Writing Aid is perceived as easier to use, offering a possibility to further explore its applicability to enhance reporting adherence.
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Contributor : Christopher Lallemant <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 10:12:38 AM
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Dana Hawwash, Melissa Sharp, Alemayehu Argaw, Patrick Kolsteren, Carl Lachat. Usefulness of applying research reporting guidelines as Writing Aid software: a crossover randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, BMJ Publishing Group, 2019, 9 (11), pp.e030943. ⟨10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030943⟩. ⟨hal-02973606⟩



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