WHO Trial Registration Data Set (TRDS) extension for traditional Chinese medicine 2020: recommendations, explanation, and elaboration

Xuan Zhang, Liang Lan, Jacky C. P. Chan, Linda L. D. Zhong, Chung Wah Cheng, Wai Ching Lam, Ran Tian, Chen Zhao, Tai Xiang Wu, Hong Cai Shang, Ai Ping Lyu, Zhao Xiang Bian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although the WHO Trial Registration Data Set (TRDS) has been published for many years, the quality of clinical trial registrations with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is still not satisfactory, especially about the inadequate reporting on TCM interventions. The development of the WHO TRDS for TCM Extension 2020 (WHO TRDS-TCM 2020) aims to address this inadequacy.

Methods: A group of clinical experts, methodologists, epidemiologists, and editors has developed this WHO TRDS-TCM 2020 through a comprehensive process, including the baseline survey, draft of the initial items, three-round of Delphi survey, solicitation of comments, revision, and finalization.

Results: The WHO TRDS-TCM 2020 statement extends the latest version (V.1.3.1) of TRDS published in November 2017. The checklist includes 11 extended items (including subitems), namely Source(s) of Monetary or Material Support (Item 4), Scientific Title (Item 10a and 10b), Countries of Recruitment (Item 11), Health Condition(s) or Problem(s) Studied (Item 12), Intervention(s) (Item 13a, 13b and 13c), Key Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria (Item 14), Primary and Key Secondary Outcomes (Item 19 to 20), and Lay Summary (Item B1). For Item 13 (Interventions), three common TCM interventions--i.e., Chinese herbal medicine formulas, acupuncture and moxibustion—are elaborated.

Conclusions: The group hopes that the WHO TRDS-TCM 2020 can improve the reporting quality and transparency of TCM trial registrations, assist registries in assessing the registration quality of TCM trials, and help readers understand TCM trial design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number192
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Informatics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese medicine
  • Clinical trial registration
  • Recommendation
  • Trial registration data set (TRDS)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)


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