Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT): Modified Delphi study.


Susan C Slade, Monash University, Melbourne
Clermont E Dionne, Laval University, Québec City
Martin Underwood, University of Warwick, Coventry
Rachelle Buchbinder, Monash University, Australia
Belinda Beck, Griffith University, Queensland
Kim Bennell, School of Physiotherapy, Melbourne, Australia
Lucie Brosseau, University of Ottawa
Leonardo Costa, Universidade Cidade de Saão Paulo
Fiona Cramp, University of the West of England
Edith Cup, Radboud University Medical Centre Nijmegen
Lynne Feehan, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Manuela Ferreira, The University of Sydney
Scott Forbes, Okanagan College
Paul P. Glasziou, Bond UniversityFollow
Bas Habets, Sports Medicine Center, Arnhem, the Netherlands
Susan Harris, University of British Columbia
Jean Hay-Smith, University of Otago
Susan Hillier, University of South Australia
Rana Hinman, School of Physiotherapy, Melbourne
Ann Holland, LaTrobe University, Melbourne
Maria Hondras, University of Southern Denmark
George Kelly, West Virginia University, Morgantown
Peter Kent, University of Southern Denmark
Gert-Jan Lauret, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Audrey Long, Bonavista Physical Therapy, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Chris Maher, The University of Sydney
Lars Morso, University of Southern Denmark
Nina Osteras, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo
Tom Peterson, Back Center, Copenhagen
Ros Quinlivan, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery
Karen Rees, University of Warwick
Jean-Philippe Regnaux, EHESP (French School of Public Health), Rennes, France
Marc Rietberg, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam
Dave Saunders, University of Edinburgh
Nicole Skoetz, University Hospital of Cologne, Germany
Karen Sogaard, University of Southern Denmark
Tim Takken, Center University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands
Maurits van Tulder, VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Nicoline Voet, Rehabilitation Medical Centre Groot Klimmendaal
Lesley Ward, University of Oxford
Claire White, King's College London, United Kingdom

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Slade, S.C., Dionne, C.E., Underwood, M., Buchbinder, R., Beck, B., Bennell, K., Brosseau, L., Costa, L., Cramp, F., Cup, E., Feehan, L., Ferreira, M., Forbes, S., Glasziou, P., Habets, B., Harris, S., Hay-Smith, J., Hillier, S., Hinman, R., Holland, A., Hondras, M., Kelly, G., Kent, P., Lauret, G.J., Long, A., Maher, C., Morso, L., Osteras, N., Peterson, T., Quinlivan, R., Rees, K., Regnaux, J.P., Rietberg, M., Saunders, D., Skoetz, N., Sogaard, K., Takken, T., van Tulder, M., Voet, N., Ward, L., & White, C. (2016). Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT): A Delphi study investigating a standardised method for reporting exercise programs. Physical Therapy, 96(10), 1514-1524.

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Copyright © 2016 American Physical Therapy Association





Exercise interventions are often incompletely described in reports of clinical trials, hampering evaluation of results and replication and implementation into practice.


The aim of this study was to develop a standardized method for reporting exercise programs in clinical trials: the Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT).


Using the EQUATOR Network's methodological framework, 137 exercise experts were invited to participate in a Delphi consensus study. A list of 41 items was identified from a meta-epidemiologic study of 73 systematic reviews of exercise. For each item, participants indicated agreement on an 11-point rating scale. Consensus for item inclusion was defined a priori as greater than 70% agreement of respondents rating an item 7 or above. Three sequential rounds of anonymous online questionnaires and a Delphi workshop were used.


There were 57 (response rate=42%), 54 (response rate=95%), and 49 (response rate=91%) respondents to rounds 1 through 3, respectively, from 11 countries and a range of disciplines. In round 1, 2 items were excluded; 24 items reached consensus for inclusion (8 items accepted in original format), and 16 items were revised in response to participant suggestions. Of 14 items in round 2, 3 were excluded, 11 reached consensus for inclusion (4 items accepted in original format), and 7 were reworded. Sixteen items were included in round 3, and all items reached greater than 70% consensus for inclusion.


The views of included Delphi panelists may differ from those of experts who declined participation and may not fully represent the views of all exercise experts.


The CERT, a 16-item checklist developed by an international panel of exercise experts, is designed to improve the reporting of exercise programs in all evaluative study designs and contains 7 categories: materials, provider, delivery, location, dosage, tailoring, and compliance. The CERT will encourage transparency, improve trial interpretation and replication, and facilitate implementation of effective exercise interventions into practice.

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This document has been peer reviewed.