Rev Esp Quimioter 2016, 29(3):130-145

A systematic review of randomized clinical trials published in Malaria Journal between 2008 and 2013  


Background. Randomized controlled trials (RCT) are a key component in clinical research and they provide the highest quality clinical results. The objective of this study was to describe the main characteristics of RCTs published in Malaria Journal, including research topics, study population and design, funding sources and collaboration between institutions. This may help researchers and funders define future research priorities in this field.
Methods. A retrospective analysis was performed on the RCTs published in Malaria Journal between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2013. A key-word search by “Randomized controlled trial” or “Random*” was carried out in PubMed. RCT indexed to MEDLINE were selected for the analysis.
Results. A total of 108 published articles containing RCTs were analysed. Treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria (n=45, 41.6%), especially the efficacy and safety of antimalarial drugs, and malaria prevention (n=34, 31.5%) were the two main research topics. The majority of trials were conducted in Africa (62.2%) and Asia (27%) and received external funding (private, 42.3% and/or public, 38.6%). Paediatric population was the primary study group (n=63, 58.3%), followed by adults (n=29, 26.9%). Pregnant women (n=7) and geriatric population (n=1) remain underrepresented. Nearly 75% of trials were conducted in individual subjects and 25% in groups of subjects (cluster RCTs). A considerable collaboration between researchers and institutions is noteworthy
Conclusions. RCTs published in Malaria Journal address a wide range of research topics. Paediatric trials conducted in Africa and Asia are frequently performed, and a significant worldwide collaboration to fight against malaria has been identified.

Rev Esp Quimioter 2016; 29(3):130-145 [pdf]