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Challenges in turning the STROBE for case-control studies checklist into a form to score reporting quality

REWARD-EQUATOR Conference (Berlin, 20-22 February 2020)

Poster presented by the UK Equator Centre:

Challenges in turning the STROBE for case-control studies checklist into a form to score reporting quality

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References:

1. von Elm E, Altman DG, Egger M, Pocock SJ, Gøtzsche PC, Vandenbroucke JP; STROBE Initiative. The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE)statement: guidelines for reporting observational studies. PLoS Med. 2007 Oct 16;4(10):e296. PMID: 17941714

2. STROBE Statement. Checklist of items that should be included in reports of case-control studies. Available at: https://www.strobe-statement.org/fileadmin/Strobe/uploads/checklists/STROBE_checklist_v4_case-control.pdf. Accessed in 2020 (Jan 22).

3. ascertainment. Oxford English Dictionary. Available at: https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/11365?redirectedFrom=ascertainment#eid. Accessed in 2020 (Jan 22).

4. Vandenbroucke JP, von Elm E, Altman DG, Gotzsche PC, Mulrow CD, Pocock SJ, Poole C, Schlesselman JJ, Egger M. Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE): Explanation and Elaboration. PLoS Med. 2007 Oct 16;4(10):e297. PMID: 17941715.

5. Cevallos M, Egger M. STROBE (STrengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology). In Moher D, Altman DG, Schulz KF, Simera I, Wager E. Guidelines for Reporting Health Research. A User’s Manual. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. Available at: https://www.equator-network.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/CevallosEgger-Chapter-17-Guidelines-for-Reporting-Health-Research-A-Users-Manual.pdf. Assessed in 2020 (10 Feb).

 

 

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Challenges in turning the STROBE for case-control studies checklist into a form to score reporting quality

Patricia Logullo, Angela MacCarthy, Shona Kirtley, Paula Dhiman, Bethan Copsey, Gary Collins

 

UK EQUATOR Centre, CSM (Centre for Statistics in Medicine), University of Oxford

equator@csm.ox.ac.uk

 

Introduction and objectives

Investigating the quality of reporting requires an appropriate measurement tool. Reporting guidelines are considered the gold standard for achieving good reporting, but they are not designed to be used as reporting quality scoring tools. There is no guidance available on how to convert reporting guidelines into evaluation forms.

We describe three examples of the challenges of turning the STROBE Case-Control checklist into a tool to assess reporting quality.

 

Methods

We are investigating the quality of reporting in case-control studies of pancreatic cancer in a research project funded by Cancer Research UK.

We turned the original 22 items from the STROBE Case-Control checklist into 96 questions. We formulated the questions to be suitable for evaluators with statistical and non-statistical backgrounds.

We excluded questions that were not appropriate for case-control studies, such as questions about case follow-up. We also excluded items that did not apply to reproducibility, such as questions pertaining to the discussion section.

 

Results

Conflicts arose between evaluators when assessing papers using the new form. These were situations where there was ambiguity or subjectivity, which we discuss below.

 

Conclusions

Evaluation forms should be created with the purpose of scoring reporting quality, and validated.