Table 1

Guidelines to remove spin

Spin in headlineDelete the misleading information and report the appropriate information.
Spin in text
Misleading reporting
  • Misleading reporting of study design

Report the appropriate study design.
  • Not reporting study population if an animal study

Report animal study subjects.
  • Selective reporting of outcomes

Report the results for all primary outcomes.
  • Not reporting adverse events

Report adverse events when higher in one group.
(We considered reporting more frequent and serious adverse events related to treatment primarily.)
  • Use of linguistic spin

Delete linguistic spin.
  • Not reporting study limitations and caution specific to study design

Report the study limitations and cautions. The cautions with standardised text are described in table 2.
Misleading interpretation
  • Claiming a beneficial effect of intervention despite statistically non-significant results

  • Claiming an equivalent beneficial effect of intervention despite statistically non-significant results in superiority RCTs

Delete this spin and use the generic wording, such as:
Treatment A was not more effective on ‘primary outcome’ than the comparator B in patients with …
  • Claiming the treatment is safe despite statistically non-significant results in treatment and comparison groups

  • Claiming safety despite adverse events

  • Claiming a causal effect despite non-randomised study design

  • Claiming a beneficial effect despite small sample size not reported

  • Claiming a beneficial effect despite lack of comparator

  • Focus on P value instead of magnitude of the effect (effect size)

Delete this spin; reword and provide the appropriate information when needed.
Misleading extrapolation
  • Animal study results to human application

  • Preliminary study results to clinical application

  • Study outcomes to other outcomes for the disease

  • Study intervention to a different intervention

  • Study participants to a larger or different population

Delete the inappropriate extrapolation.
  • Inappropriate implication for clinical or daily use

Delete the statement and clearly report the immediate unavailability in clinical practice.
Author’s/expert’s statement (interview)
Delete the spin in the statement.
Report the caution or recommendation by study authors, reported in the relevant article when available.
  • RCT, randomised controlled trial.