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Data collection, quality, and reporting

Section edited by Livia Puljak

This section considers manuscripts that assess quality aspects of data collected in all types of medical research studies, including systematic reviews and meta-analyses, along with how the data are reported in published form.

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  1. With declining response proportions in population-based research the importance of evaluating the effectiveness of measures aimed at improving response increases. We investigated whether an additional flyer wi...

    Authors: Stefan Rach, Kathrin Günther and Birte Hadeler

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:187

    Content type: Research article

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  2. Population estimates of alcohol consumption vary widely among samples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Australians. Some of this difference may relate to non-representative sampling. In so...

    Authors: KS Kylie Lee, Michelle S. Fitts, James H. Conigrave, Catherine Zheng, Jimmy Perry, Scott Wilson, Dudley Ah Chee, Shane Bond, Keith Weetra, Tanya N. Chikritzhs, Tim Slade and Katherine M. Conigrave

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:183

    Content type: Research article

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  3. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in December 2019, a substantial body of COVID-19 medical literature has been generated. As of June 2020, gaps and longitudinal trends in the COVID-19 medical litera...

    Authors: Nan Liu, Marcel Lucas Chee, Chenglin Niu, Pin Pin Pek, Fahad Javaid Siddiqui, John Pastor Ansah, David Bruce Matchar, Sean Shao Wei Lam, Hairil Rizal Abdullah, Angelique Chan, Rahul Malhotra, Nicholas Graves, Mariko Siyue Koh, Sungwon Yoon, Andrew Fu Wah Ho, Daniel Shu Wei Ting…

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:177

    Content type: Research article

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  4. Text messaging systems are used to collect data on symptom prevalence. Using a text messaging system, we evaluated the effects of question load, question frequency, and financial incentive on response rates an...

    Authors: Ryan Rego, Samuel Watson, Philbert Ishengoma, Philemon Langat, Hezekiah Pireh Otieno and Richard Lilford

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:174

    Content type: Research article

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  5. The research community reacted rapidly to the emergence of COVID-19. We aimed to assess characteristics of journal articles, preprint articles, and registered trial protocols about COVID-19 and its causal agen...

    Authors: Mahir Fidahic, Danijela Nujic, Renata Runjic, Marta Civljak, Filipa Markotic, Zvjezdana Lovric Makaric and Livia Puljak

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:161

    Content type: Research article

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  6. Clinical practice guidelines have become increasingly widely used to guide quality improvement of clinical practice. Qualitative research may be a useful way to improve the quality and implementation of guidel...

    Authors: Yun-Yun Wang, Dan-Dan Liang, Cui Lu, Yue-Xian Shi, Jing Zhang, Yue Cao, Cheng Fang, Di Huang and Ying-Hui Jin

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:160

    Content type: Research article

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  7. We aimed to assess the feasibility of using multiple technologies to recruit and conduct cognitive interviews among young people across the United States to test items measuring sexual and reproductive empower...

    Authors: Ushma D. Upadhyay and Heather Lipkovich

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:159

    Content type: Technical advance

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  8. A proper application of the Delphi technique is essential for obtaining valid research results. Medical researchers regularly use Delphi studies, but reports often lack detailed information on methodology and ...

    Authors: Rebekka Veugelers, Menno I. Gaakeer, Peter Patka and Robbert Huijsman

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:156

    Content type: Research article

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  9. It is important to evaluate fidelity of delivery and engagement during feasibility trials. However, there is little guidance on how to systematically develop strategies to improve implementation if problems ar...

    Authors: Holly Walton, Aimee Spector, Anna Roberts, Morgan Williamson, Jem Bhatt, Ildiko Tombor and Susan Michie

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:153

    Content type: Research article

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  10. Evidence on the effectiveness of postal recruitment methods for Indigenous peoples is lacking. Mayi Kuwayu, the National Study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing, uses multi-staged sampling. We...

    Authors: Alyson Wright, Katherine Ann Thurber, Mandy Yap, Wei Du, Emily Banks, Jennie Walker, Faye Irwin, Will Sanders and Raymond Lovett

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:149

    Content type: Research article

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  11. Missing data is a common problem in epidemiological studies, while it becomes more critical, when the missing data concern a multi-item instrument, since lack of information in even one of its items, leads to the...

    Authors: Thomas Tsiampalis and Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:148

    Content type: Research article

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  12. We investigated the feasibility of using a machine learning tool’s relevance predictions to expedite title and abstract screening.

    Authors: Allison Gates, Michelle Gates, Meghan Sebastianski, Samantha Guitard, Sarah A. Elliott and Lisa Hartling

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:139

    Content type: Research article

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  13. When conducting an Overviews of Reviews on health-related topics, it is unclear which combination of bibliographic databases authors should use for searching for SRs. Our goal was to determine which databases ...

    Authors: Käthe Goossen, Simone Hess, Carole Lunny and Dawid Pieper

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:138

    Content type: Research article

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  14. Publication and related biases (including publication bias, time-lag bias, outcome reporting bias and p-hacking) have been well documented in clinical research, but relatively little is known about their prese...

    Authors: Abimbola A. Ayorinde, Iestyn Williams, Russell Mannion, Fujian Song, Magdalena Skrybant, Richard J. Lilford and Yen-Fu Chen

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:137

    Content type: Research article

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  15. Missing data in covariates can result in biased estimates and loss of power to detect associations. It can also lead to other challenges in time-to-event analyses including the handling of time-varying effects...

    Authors: Orlagh U. Carroll, Tim P. Morris and Ruth H. Keogh

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:134

    Content type: Research Article

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  16. Too often, studies of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) in preventive, community, and health care are not sufficiently useful to end users (typically practitioners, patients, policymakers, or other researche...

    Authors: Henna Hasson, Laura Leviton and Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:133

    Content type: Debate

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  17. Propensity scores are widely used to deal with confounding bias in medical research. An incorrectly specified propensity score model may lead to residual confounding bias; therefore it is essential to use diag...

    Authors: Emily Granger, Tim Watkins, Jamie C. Sergeant and Mark Lunt

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:132

    Content type: Research article

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  18. Cross-cultural research with patient-reported outcomes measures (PROMs) assumes that the PROM in the target language will measure the same construct in the same way as the PROM in the source language. Yet tran...

    Authors: Melanie Hawkins, Christina Cheng, Gerald R. Elsworth and Richard H. Osborne

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:130

    Content type: Research article

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  19. Evidence-based health care is informed by results of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and their syntheses in meta-analyses. When the trial outcomes measured are not clearly described in trial publications, kn...

    Authors: Andrea Monsour, Emma J. Mew, Sagar Patel, Alyssandra Chee-a-tow, Leena Saeed, Lucia Santos, Darren B. Courtney, Priya N. Watson, Suneeta Monga, Peter Szatmari, Martin Offringa and Nancy J. Butcher

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:129

    Content type: Research article

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  20. Recent changes in communication technologies, including increased reliance on mobile phones and the internet, may present challenges and/or opportunities to re-engaging inactive study cohorts. We evaluate our ...

    Authors: Gareth Lingham, David A. Mackey, Nicola Seed, Lisa Ryan, Elizabeth Milne, Robyn M. Lucas, Maria Franchina, Samantha Sze-Yee Lee and Seyhan Yazar

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:127

    Content type: Research article

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  21. Peer review is at the heart of the scientific process. With the advent of digitisation, journals started to offer electronic articles or publishing online only. A new philosophy regarding the peer review proce...

    Authors: Oliver Rudolf HERBER, Caroline BRADBURY-JONES, Susanna BÖLING, Sarah COMBES, Julian HIRT, Yvonne KOOP, Ragnhild NYHAGEN, Jessica D. VELDHUIZEN and Julie TAYLOR

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:122

    Content type: Research article

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  22. A crucial element in the systematic review (SR) methodology is the appraisal of included primary studies, using tools for assessment of methodological quality or risk of bias (RoB). SR authors can conduct sens...

    Authors: Marija Franka Marušić, Mahir Fidahić, Cristina Mihaela Cepeha, Loredana Gabriela Farcaș, Alexandra Tseke and Livia Puljak

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:121

    Content type: Research article

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  23. The COVID-19 pandemic has evolved into one of the most impactful health crises in modern history, compelling researchers to explore innovative ways to efficiently collect public health data in a timely manner....

    Authors: Shahmir H. Ali, Joshua Foreman, Ariadna Capasso, Abbey M. Jones, Yesim Tozan and Ralph J. DiClemente

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:116

    Content type: Research article

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  24. Shifts in data sharing policy have increased researchers’ access to individual participant data (IPD) from clinical studies. Simultaneously the number of IPD meta-analyses (IPDMAs) is increasing. However, rate...

    Authors: Matthew Ventresca, Holger J. Schünemann, Fergus Macbeth, Mike Clarke, Lehana Thabane, Gareth Griffiths, Simon Noble, David Garcia, Maura Marcucci, Alfonso Iorio, Qi Zhou, Mark Crowther, Elie A. Akl, Gary H. Lyman, Viktoria Gloy, Marcello DiNisio…

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:113

    Content type: Research article

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  25. While randomised controlled trials (RCTs) provide high-quality evidence to guide practice, much routine care is not based upon available RCTs. This disconnect between evidence and practice is not sufficiently ...

    Authors: Ben E. Byrne, Leila Rooshenas, Helen S. Lambert and Jane M. Blazeby

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:112

    Content type: Research article

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  26. Health experts including planners and policy-makers face complex decisions in diverse and constantly changing healthcare systems. Visual analytics may play a critical role in supporting analysis of complex hea...

    Authors: Erin I. Walsh, Younjin Chung, Nicolas Cherbuin and Luis Salvador-Carulla

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:110

    Content type: Research article

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  27. The objective of this study was to assess the overall quality of study-level meta-analyses in high-ranking journals using commonly employed guidelines and standards for systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

    Authors: Irbaz Hameed, Michelle Demetres, Derrick Y. Tam, Mohamed Rahouma, Faiza M. Khan, Drew N. Wright, Keith Mages, Antonio P. DeRosa, Becky Baltich Nelson, Kevin Pain, Diana Delgado, Leonard N. Girardi, Stephen E. Fremes and Mario Gaudino

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:105

    Content type: Research article

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  28. Cochrane systematic review Plain language Summaries (CSR PLSs should serve as a tool for the evidence translation to non-medical population. However, the evidence of optimal type of numerical presentation in C...

    Authors: Ivan Buljan, Ružica Tokalić, Marija Roguljić, Irena Zakarija-Grković, Davorka Vrdoljak, Petra Milić, Livia Puljak and Ana Marušić

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:101

    Content type: Research article

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  29. Cross-sectional and retrospective offence data are often used to classify sex offenders in epidemiological and survey research, but little empirical evidence exists regarding the practical implications of this...

    Authors: Mathew Gullotta, David Greenberg, Armita Adily, Jesse Cale and Tony G. Butler

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:97

    Content type: Research article

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  30. There is a notable lack of methodological and reporting guidance for systematic reviews of prevalence data. This information void has the potential to result in reviews that are inconsistent and inadequate to ...

    Authors: Celina Borges Migliavaca, Cinara Stein, Verônica Colpani, Timothy Hugh Barker, Zachary Munn and Maicon Falavigna

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:96

    Content type: Research article

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  31. Mobile applications for health, also known as ‘mHealth apps’, have experienced increasing popularity over the past ten years. However, most publicly available mHealth apps are not clinically validated, and man...

    Authors: Adrian B. R. Shatte and Samantha J. Teague

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:91

    Content type: Software

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  32. State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) scale was developed in the 1980’s and has been widely used both in clinical settings and in research. However the Danish version of STAI has not been validated. The aim of ...

    Authors: L. W. Gustafson, P. Gabel, A. Hammer, H. H. Lauridsen, L. K. Petersen, B. Andersen, P. Bor and M. B. Larsen

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:89

    Content type: Research article

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  33. Occupational stress and specifically job anxiety are crucial factors in determining health outcomes, job satisfaction as well as performance. In order to assess this phenomenon, the Job Anxiety Scale is one of...

    Authors: Bjarne Schmalbach, Andreas Kalkbrenner, Markus Bassler, Andreas Hinz and Katja Petrowski

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:87

    Content type: Research article

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  34. A pretest probability must be selected to calculate data to help clinicians, guideline boards and policy makers interpret diagnostic accuracy parameters. When multiple analyses for the same target condition ar...

    Authors: Michiel S. Oerbekke, Kevin Jenniskens, Rob J. P. M. Scholten and Lotty Hooft

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:85

    Content type: Research article

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  35. The Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life-Direct Weighting (SEIQoL-DW) is a prevalent face-to-face interview method for measuring quality of life by integrating respondent-generated dimensi...

    Authors: Marion Burckhardt, Steffen Fleischer and Almuth Berg

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:80

    Content type: Research article

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  36. The lack of attention to Indigenous epistemologies and, more broadly, Indigenous values in primary research, is mirrored in the standardised critical appraisal tools used to guide evidence-based practice and s...

    Authors: Stephen Harfield, Odette Pearson, Kim Morey, Elaine Kite, Karla Canuto, Karen Glover, Judith Streak Gomersall, Drew Carter, Carol Davy, Edoardo Aromataris and Annette Braunack-Mayer

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:79

    Content type: Research article

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  37. To monitor the adoption of climate change adaptive behaviors in the population, public health authorities have to conduct national surveys, which can help them target vulnerable subpopulations. To ensure relia...

    Authors: Grâce Ngambo Domche, Pierre Valois, Magalie Canuel, Denis Talbot, Maxime Tessier, Cécile Aenishaenslin, Catherine Bouchard and Sandie Briand

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:78

    Content type: Research article

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  38. Rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are rapidly rising in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). Systematic reviews satisfy the demand from practitioners and policy makers for prompt comprehensive evide...

    Authors: Alaa Akkawi, Joanne Khabsa, Aya Noubani, Sarah Jamali, Abla M. Sibai and Tamara Lotfi

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:68

    Content type: Research article

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  39. Clinical trials are essential to improve knowledge of anesthesia and perioperative medicine. Unfortunately, many studies face participant-recruitment issues and fail to include the planned number of participan...

    Authors: Caroline Noirmain, Béatrice Gil-Wey, Isabelle Pichon, Pauline Brindel and Guy Haller

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:67

    Content type: Research article

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  40. Non-participation and attrition are rarely studied despite being important methodological issues when performing post-disaster studies. A longitudinal survey of civilians exposed to the January 2015 terrorist ...

    Authors: Cécile Vuillermoz, Lise Eilin Stene, Lydéric Aubert, Yvon Motreff, Philippe Pirard, Thierry Baubet, Sophie Lesieur, Pierre Chauvin and Stéphanie Vandentorren

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:63

    Content type: Research article

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  41. In the data pipeline from the data collection process to the planned statistical analyses, initial data analysis (IDA) typically takes place between the end of the data collection and do not touch the research...

    Authors: Marianne Huebner, Werner Vach, Saskia le Cessie, Carsten Oliver Schmidt and Lara Lusa

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:61

    Content type: Research article

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  42. The aims of this study were to assess whether the previous registration of a systematic review (SR) is associated with the improvement of the quality of the report of SRs and whether SR registration reduced ou...

    Authors: Mateus Bertolini Fernandes dos Santos, Bernardo Antônio Agostini, Rafaela Bassani, Gabriel Kalil Rocha Pereira and Rafael Sarkis-Onofre

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:57

    Content type: Research article

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  43. Single time-point assessments of psychological distress are often used to indicate chronic mental health problems, but the validity of this approach is unclear. The aims of this study were to investigate how a...

    Authors: J. Welsh, R. J. Korda, E. Banks, L. Strazdins, G. Joshy and P. Butterworth

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:55

    Content type: Research article

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  44. Studies examining incident heart failure (HF) have been limited to select populations. To examine incident HF with broader generalizability, there is need to assemble a HF-free cohort using a geographically-di...

    Authors: Parag Goyal, Matthew T. Mefford, Ligong Chen, Madeline R. Sterling, Raegan W. Durant, Monika M. Safford and Emily B. Levitan

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:53

    Content type: Research article

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  45. In composing multi-thematic questionnaires for the Lolland-Falster Health Study (LOFUS), we faced a range of challenges, for which we found limited guidance in the literature. LOFUS is a household-based popula...

    Authors: Cecilie Lindström Egholm, Aake Packness, Jakob Stokholm, Knud Rasmussen, Christina Ellervik, Erik Simonsen, Anne Illemann Christensen and Randi Jepsen

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:52

    Content type: Commentary

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  46. Biosocial survey data are in high demand, yet little is known about the measurement quality of health measures collected by nurses in respondents’ homes. Our objective was to analyze the degree to which nurses...

    Authors: Alexandru Cernat and Joseph W. Sakshaug

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:45

    Content type: Research article

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  47. Incomplete data are of particular important influence in mental measurement questionnaires. Most experts, however, mostly focus on clinical trials and cohort studies and generally pay less attention to this de...

    Authors: Xueying Xu, Leizhen Xia, Qimeng Zhang, Shaoning Wu, Mingcheng Wu and Hongbo Liu

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:42

    Content type: Research article

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  48. A Core Outcomes Set (COS) is an agreed minimum set of outcomes that should be reported in all clinical studies related to a specific condition. Using prostate cancer as a case study, we identified, summarized,...

    Authors: Michela Meregaglia, Oriana Ciani, Helen Banks, Maximilian Salcher-Konrad, Caroline Carney, Sahan Jayawardana, Paula Williamson and Giovanni Fattore

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:41

    Content type: Research article

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  49. Validated algorithms to classify type 1 and 2 diabetes (T1D, T2D) are mostly limited to white pediatric populations. We conducted a large study in Hong Kong among children and adults with diabetes to develop a...

    Authors: Calvin Ke, Thérèse A. Stukel, Andrea Luk, Baiju R. Shah, Prabhat Jha, Eric Lau, Ronald C. W. Ma, Wing-Yee So, Alice P. Kong, Elaine Chow and Juliana C. N. Chan

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2020 20:35

    Content type: Research article

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