Consensus on exercise reporting template (cert): Guideline development and implementation

Dr Susan Slade

1Monash Department Clinical Epidemiology, Cabrini Institute, Melbourne, Australia, 2Department  Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Background: Exercise is effective for  a range of health conditions and includes aerobic, resistance, yoga, Pilates, and movement ms The 16-item internationally endorsed Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT) was developed to address the recognized poor reporting of exercise programs.

Aims: Develop a standardized method for reporting exercise programs and provide implementation guidance.

Methods:  Informed by EQUATOR Network methods for developing reporting guidelines. We invited 137 exercise experts into a Delphi consensus study to rate 41 items identified from a systematic review of exercise. We used three sequential rounds of anonymous online questionnaires and a Delphi workshop; finalized and panel consensus.

Results: There were 57, 54 and 49 respondents to Rounds 1-3 respectively from 11 countries and a range of disciplines. The 16-item CERT provides guidance on a minimum set of items considered essential to report replicable exercise programs. The contents may be included in online supplementary material; published protocols; dedicated websites and electronic repositories. The Explanation and Elaboration Statement is designed to facilitate implementation of the CERT.

Conclusions: The CERT is an internationally endorsed guideline designed specifically for  reporting  exercise programs across all  exercise research study designs. It contains seven categories: materials, provider, delivery, location, dosage, tailoring, and compliance. The CERT can be used by authors,  reviewers and editors, and by readers of  published information.

Significance to allied health: The CERT will encourage transparency, improve trial interpretation and replication, facilitate implementation of effective exercise interventions into practice, reduce research waste, and improve patient outcomes.

Key Words: Exercise prescription, Delphi study, Reporting Guidelines, Clinical practice, Publication quality