Prospective registration trends, reasons for retrospective registration and mechanisms to increase prospective registration compliance: descriptive analysis and survey
To analyse prospective versus retrospective trial registration trends on the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) and to evaluate the reasons for non-compliance with prospective registration.
Part 1: Descriptive analysis of trial registration trends from 2006 to 2015. Part 2: Online registrant survey.
Part 1: All interventional trials registered on ANZCTR from 2006 to 2015. Part 2: Random sample of those who had retrospectively registered a trial on ANZCTR between 2010 and 2015.
Part 1: Proportion of prospective versus retrospective clinical trial registrations (ie, registration before versus after enrolment of the first participant) on the ANZCTR overall and by various key metrics, such as sponsor, funder, recruitment country and sample size. Part 2: Reasons for non-compliance with prospective registration and perceived usefulness of various proposed mechanisms to improve prospective registration compliance.
Part 1: Analysis of the complete dataset of 9450 trials revealed that compliance with prospective registration increased from 48% (216 out of 446 trials) in 2006 to 63% (723/1148) in 2012 and has since plateaued at around 64%. Patterns of compliance were relatively consistent across sponsor and funder types (industry vs non-industry), type of intervention (drug vs non-drug) and size of trial (n<100, 100–500, >500). However, primary sponsors from Australia/New Zealand were almost twice as likely to register prospectively (62%; 4613/7452) compared with sponsors from other countries with a WHO Network Registry (35%; 377/1084) or sponsors from countries without a WHO Registry (29%; 230/781). Part 2: The majority (56%; 84/149) of survey respondents cited lack of awareness as a reason for not registering their study prospectively. Seventy-four per cent (111/149) stated that linking registration to ethics approval would facilitate prospective registration.
Despite some progress, compliance with prospective registration remains suboptimal. Linking registration to ethics approval was the favoured strategy among those sampled for improving compliance.