To identify all reports of randomised clinical trials in the Journal and compare our findings with reports available in Medline.
We handsearched the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology with supplements for the years 1955-1997 to identify reports of randomised clinical trials and controlled clinical trials.
We identified 445 trial reports. In Medline, 134 of these trials (30%) were indexed as randomised or controlled trials; an additional 50 trials (11%) were available in Medline but were indexed differently. Thus, 261 of the trials (59%) we identified were not indexed in Medline; most of these trials were published in supplements to the Journal.
Handsearching of medical journals for randomised trials can be a worthwhile effort. Clinicians and patients will become better informed about the value of different treatment options and researchers will reduce their risk of performing trials that are unnecessary.