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Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT): Modified Delphi study.
Physical Therapy
  • 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 University
  • 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
Date of this Version
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Journal Article
Publication Details

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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.

Citation Information
Susan C Slade, Clermont E Dionne, Martin Underwood, Rachelle Buchbinder, et al.. "Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT): Modified Delphi study." Physical Therapy Vol. 96 Iss. 10 (2016) p. 1514 - 1524 ISSN: 1538-6724
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