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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. Content type: Research article

    A number of cohort studies and longitudinal household panel studies in Great Britain have asked for consent to link survey data to administrative health data. We explore commonalities and differences in the pr...

    Authors: Gundi Knies and Jonathan Burton

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:125

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  2. Content type: Research article

    To allow an accurate evaluation of abstracts of systematic reviews, the PRISMA Statement recommends that the limitations of the evidence (e.g., risk of bias, publication bias, inconsistency, imprecision) shoul...

    Authors: Amélie Yavchitz, Philippe Ravaud, Sally Hopewell, Gabriel Baron and Isabelle Boutron

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:123

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  3. Content type: Research article

    Syntheses of qualitative studies can inform health policy, services and our understanding of patient experience. Meta-ethnography is a systematic seven-phase interpretive qualitative synthesis approach well-su...

    Authors: Emma F France, Nicola Ring, Rebecca Thomas, Jane Noyes, Margaret Maxwell and Ruth Jepson

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:119

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  4. Content type: Research article

    The study aimed to investigate the meaning patients assign to two measures of quality of life: the Schedule for Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life Direct Weighting (SEIQoL-DW) and the SEIQoL-DW Disease R...

    Authors: Lena Wettergren, Mathilde Hedlund Lindberg, Åsa Kettis, Bengt Glimelius and Lena Ring

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:115

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  5. Content type: Research article

    Randomised controlled trials (RCT) are highly influential upon medical decisions. Thus RCTs must not distort the truth. One threat to internal trial validity is the correct prediction of future allocations (se...

    Authors: Steffen Mickenautsch, Bo Fu, Sheila Gudehithlu and Vance W Berger

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:114

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  6. Content type: Technical advance

    The importance of findings derived from syntheses of qualitative research has been increasingly acknowledged. Findings that arise from qualitative syntheses inform questions of practice and policy in their own...

    Authors: Zachary Munn, Kylie Porritt, Craig Lockwood, Edoardo Aromataris and Alan Pearson

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:108

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  7. Content type: Research article

    Video stimulated recall (VSR) is a method of enhancing participants’ accounts of the consultation using a video recording of the event to encourage and prompt recall in a post consultation interview. VSR is us...

    Authors: Zoe Paskins, Gretl McHugh and Andrew B Hassell

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:101

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  8. Content type: Research article

    A widely discussed design issue in patient satisfaction questionnaires is the optimal length and labelling of the answering scale. The aim of the present study was to compare intra-individually the answers on ...

    Authors: Salome Dell-Kuster, Esteban Sanjuan, Atanas Todorov, Heidemarie Weber, Michael Heberer and Rachel Rosenthal

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:96

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  9. Content type: Research article

    Anonymous survey methods appear to promote greater disclosure of sensitive or stigmatizing information compared to non-anonymous methods. Higher disclosure rates have traditionally been interpreted as being mo...

    Authors: Maureen Murdoch, Alisha Baines Simon, Melissa Anderson Polusny, Ann Kay Bangerter, Joseph Patrick Grill, Siamak Noorbaloochi and Melissa Ruth Partin

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:90

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  10. Content type: Correspondence

    Studies that systematically search for and synthesise qualitative research are becoming more evident in health care, and they can make an important contribution to patient care. Our team was funded to complete...

    Authors: Francine Toye, Kate Seers, Nick Allcock, Michelle Briggs, Eloise Carr and Karen Barker

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:80

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  11. Content type: Research article

    Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (HDSS) have been instrumental in advancing population and health research in low- and middle- income countries where vital registration systems are often weak. Howev...

    Authors: Chodziwadziwa W Kabudula, Benjamin D Clark, Francesc Xavier Gómez-Olivé, Stephen Tollman, Jane Menken and Georges Reniers

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:71

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  12. Content type: Research article

    The Project on a Framework for Rating Evidence in Public Health (PRECEPT) was initiated and is being funded by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to define a methodology for evaluati...

    Authors: Thomas Harder, Anja Takla, Eva Rehfuess, Alex Sánchez-Vivar, Dorothea Matysiak-Klose, Tim Eckmanns, Gérard Krause, Helena de Carvalho Gomes, Andreas Jansen, Simon Ellis, Frode Forland, Roberta James, Joerg J Meerpohl, Antony Morgan, Holger Schünemann, Teun Zuiderent-Jerak…

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:69

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  13. Content type: Research article

    Split-mouth randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are popular in oral health research. Meta-analyses frequently include trials of both split-mouth and parallel-arm designs to derive combined intervention effects...

    Authors: Violaine Smaïl-Faugeron, Hélène Fron-Chabouis, Frédéric Courson and Pierre Durieux

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:64

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    The Erratum to this article has been published in BMC Medical Research Methodology 2015 15:72

  14. Content type: Research article

    There is increasing interest in innovative methods to carry out systematic reviews of complex interventions. Theory-based approaches, such as logic models, have been suggested as a means of providing additiona...

    Authors: Susan K Baxter, Lindsay Blank, Helen Buckley Woods, Nick Payne, Melanie Rimmer and Elizabeth Goyder

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:62

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  15. Content type: Technical advance

    Evaluating the methodological quality of clinical practice guidelines is essential before deciding which ones which could best inform policy or practice. One current method of evaluating clinical guideline qua...

    Authors: Karen Grimmer, Janine Margarita Dizon, Steve Milanese, Ellena King, Kate Beaton, Olivia Thorpe, Lucylynn Lizarondo, Julie Luker, Zuzana Machotka and Saravana Kumar

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:63

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  16. Content type: Research article

    Cluster-based studies in health research are increasing. An important characteristic of such studies is the presence of intracluster correlation, typically quantified by the intracluster correlation coefficien...

    Authors: Giuliane J Lajos, Samira M Haddad, Ricardo P Tedesco, Renato Passini Jr, Tabata Z Dias, Marcelo L Nomura, Patrícia M Rheder, Maria H Sousa and Jose G Cecatti

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:54

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  17. Content type: Technical advance

    Patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases have expressed a need for more frequent measurement of relevant outcomes, due to the variations in their symptoms during the day and from day to day. At present, p...

    Authors: Anne Christie, Hanne Dagfinrud, Øystein Dale, Trenton Schulz and Kåre Birger Hagen

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:52

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  18. Content type: Research article

    Self- administered questionnaires or interviews and medical records are often used as sources of research data; thus it is essential to evaluate their concordance and reliability. The aim of this paper was to ...

    Authors: Jennifer R Bai, Dhritiman V Mukherjee, Montina Befus, Zoltan Apa, Franklin D Lowy and Elaine L Larson

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:50

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  19. Content type: Research article

    Systematic Reviews (SRs) of experimental animal studies are not yet common practice, but awareness of the merits of conducting such SRs is steadily increasing. As animal intervention studies differ from random...

    Authors: Carlijn R Hooijmans, Maroeska M Rovers, Rob BM de Vries, Marlies Leenaars, Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga and Miranda W Langendam

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:43

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  20. Content type: Research article

    Before considering whether to use a multivariable (diagnostic or prognostic) prediction model, it is essential that its performance be evaluated in data that were not used to develop the model (referred to as ...

    Authors: Gary S Collins, Joris A de Groot, Susan Dutton, Omar Omar, Milensu Shanyinde, Abdelouahid Tajar, Merryn Voysey, Rose Wharton, Ly-Mee Yu, Karel G Moons and Douglas G Altman

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:40

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  21. Content type: Research article

    Data on HCV-related cirrhosis progression are scarce in developing countries in general, and in Egypt in particular. The objective of this study was to estimate the probability of death and transition between ...

    Authors: Anthony Cousien, Dorothée Obach, Sylvie Deuffic-Burban, Aya Mostafa, Gamal Esmat, Valérie Canva, Mohamed El Kassas, Mohammad El-Sayed, Wagida A Anwar, Arnaud Fontanet, Mostafa K Mohamed and Yazdan Yazdanpanah

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:39

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  22. Content type: Research article

    Health professionals’ behaviour is a key component in compliance with evidence-based recommendations. Opinion leaders are an oft-used method of influencing such behaviours in implementation studies, but reliab...

    Authors: Katherine Farley, Andria Hanbury and Carl Thompson

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:38

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  23. Content type: Research article

    Drawing conclusions from systematic reviews of test accuracy studies without considering the methodological quality (risk of bias) of included studies may lead to unwarranted optimism about the value of the te...

    Authors: Eleanor A Ochodo, Wynanda A van Enst, Christiana A Naaktgeboren, Joris AH de Groot, Lotty Hooft, Karel GM Moons, Johannes B Reitsma, Patrick M Bossuyt and Mariska MG Leeflang

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:33

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  24. Content type: Research article

    To examine empirically whether the mean difference (MD) or the standardised mean difference (SMD) is more generalizable and statistically powerful in meta-analyses of continuous outcomes when the same unit is ...

    Authors: Nozomi Takeshima, Takashi Sozu, Aran Tajika, Yusuke Ogawa, Yu Hayasaka and Toshiaki A Furukawa

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:30

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  25. Content type: Research article

    There is growing recognition of the value of conducting qualitative research with trials in health research. It is timely to reflect on how this qualitative research is presented in grant proposals to identify...

    Authors: Sarah J Drabble, Alicia O’Cathain, Kate J Thomas, Anne Rudolph and Jenny Hewison

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:24

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  26. Content type: Research article

    The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) is a cross-sectional survey that has collected information on health determinants, health status and the utilization of the health system in Canada since 2001. Sever...

    Authors: Dean W Yergens, Daniel J Dutton and Scott B Patten

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:15

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  27. Content type: Research article

    Reference management software programs enable researchers to more easily organize and manage large volumes of references typically identified during the production of systematic reviews. The purpose of this st...

    Authors: Diane L Lorenzetti and William A Ghali

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:141

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  28. Content type: Research article

    Patient registries represent a well-established methodology for prospective data collection with a wide array of applications for clinical research and health care administration. An examination and synthesis ...

    Authors: Lawrence Korngut, Gail MacKean, Lisa Casselman, Megan Johnston, Lundy Day, Darren Lam, Diane Lorenzetti, Janet Warner, Nathalie Jetté and Tamara Pringsheim

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:135

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  29. Content type: Research article

    The benefits of stroke unit care in terms of reducing death, dependency and institutional care were demonstrated in a 2009 Cochrane review carried out by the Stroke Unit Trialists’ Collaboration.

    Authors: Ying Sun, Dominique Paulus, Maria Eyssen, Johan Maervoet and Omer Saka

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:132

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  30. Content type: Research article

    Recent research indicates a high recall in Google Scholar searches for systematic reviews. These reports raised high expectations of Google Scholar as a unified and easy to use search interface. However, studi...

    Authors: Martin Boeker, Werner Vach and Edith Motschall

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:131

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  31. Content type: Research article

    Previous reviews of cluster randomised trials have been critical of the quality of the trials reviewed, but none has explored determinants of the quality of these trials in a specific field over an extended pe...

    Authors: Karla Diaz-Ordaz, Robert Froud, Bart Sheehan and Sandra Eldridge

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:127

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  32. Content type: Research article

    The development and evaluation of complex interventions in healthcare has obtained increased awareness. The Medical Research Council’s (MRC) framework for the development and evaluation of complex intervention...

    Authors: Ralph Möhler, Gabriele Bartoszek and Gabriele Meyer

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:125

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  33. Content type: Research article

    Administrative data are a valuable source of estimates of diabetes prevalence for groups such as coronary heart disease (CHD) patients. The primary aim of this study was to measure concordance between medical ...

    Authors: Lee Nedkoff, Matthew Knuiman, Joseph Hung, Frank M Sanfilippo, Judith M Katzenellenbogen and Tom G Briffa

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:121

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  34. Content type: Technical advance

    Systematic review methodologies can be harnessed to help researchers to understand and explain how complex interventions may work. Typically, when reviewing complex interventions, a review team will seek to un...

    Authors: Andrew Booth, Janet Harris, Elizabeth Croot, Jane Springett, Fiona Campbell and Emma Wilkins

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:118

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  35. Content type: Research article

    Assessing the risk of bias of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is crucial to understand how biases affect treatment effect estimates. A number of tools have been developed to evaluate risk of bias of RCTs; ...

    Authors: Susan Armijo-Olivo, Jorge Fuentes, Maria Ospina, Humam Saltaji and Lisa Hartling

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:116

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  36. Content type: Research article

    Questionnaires are valuable for population surveys of mental health. Different survey instruments may however give different results. The present study compares two mental health instruments, the Major Depress...

    Authors: Sannie Vester Thorsen, Reiner Rugulies, Pernille U Hjarsbech and Jakob Bue Bjorner

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:115

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  37. Content type: Research article

    The aim of this project was to investigate the reliability of a new 11-item quality appraisal tool for studies of diagnostic reliability (QAREL). The tool was tested on studies reporting the reliability of any...

    Authors: Nicholas Lucas, Petra Macaskill, Les Irwig, Robert Moran, Luke Rickards, Robin Turner and Nikolai Bogduk

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:111

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  38. Content type: Research article

    Poor response rates can jeopardise the validity of the findings of epidemiological surveys. The aim of this study was to undertake a randomised controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of different stra...

    Authors: Anne-Marie Glenny, Helen V Worthington, Keith M Milsom, Eric Rooney and Martin Tickle

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:108

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  39. Content type: Research article

    Critics of systematic reviews have argued that these studies often fail to inform clinical decision making because their results are far too general, that the data are sparse, such that findings cannot be appl...

    Authors: Joel J Gagnier, Hal Morgenstern, Doug G Altman, Jesse Berlin, Stephanie Chang, Peter McCulloch, Xin Sun and David Moher

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:106

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  40. Content type: Research article

    Open-label, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are subject to observer bias. If patient management is conducted without blinding, a difference between groups may be explained by other factors than study treat...

    Authors: Rémy Boussageon, Irène Supper, Sylvie Erpeldinger, Michel Cucherat, Theodora Bejan-Angoulvant, Behrouz Kassai, Catherine Cornu and François Gueyffier

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:107

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  41. Content type: Research article

    Primary care databases are a major source of data for epidemiological and health services research. However, most studies are based on coded information, ignoring information stored in free text. Using the ear...

    Authors: Elizabeth Ford, Amanda Nicholson, Rob Koeling, A Rosemary Tate, John Carroll, Lesley Axelrod, Helen E Smith, Greta Rait, Kevin A Davies, Irene Petersen, Tim Williams and Jackie A Cassell

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:105

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  42. Content type: Research article

    Respondent driven sampling (RDS) was designed for sampling “hidden” populations and intended as a means of generating unbiased population estimates. Its widespread use has been accompanied by increasing scruti...

    Authors: John L Wylie and Ann M Jolly

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:93

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  43. Content type: Research article

    PubMed translations of OvidSP Medline search filters offer searchers improved ease of access. They may also facilitate access to PubMed’s unique content, including citations for the most recently published bio...

    Authors: Raechel A Damarell, Jennifer J Tieman and Ruth M Sladek

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:86

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  44. Content type: Research article

    This study proposes a new approach for investigating bias in self-reported data on height and weight among adolescents by studying the relevance of participants’ self-reported response capability. The objectiv...

    Authors: Mette Rasmussen, Bjørn E Holstein, Ole Melkevik and Mogens Trab Damsgaard

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:85

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  45. Content type: Research article

    The inclusion of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reported in conference abstracts in systematic reviews is controversial, partly because study design information and risk of bias is often not fully reporte...

    Authors: Roberta W Scherer, Lynn Huynh, Ann-Margret Ervin, Jakeisha Taylor and Kay Dickersin

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:79

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  46. Content type: Correspondence

    Conducting a pilot trial is important in preparing for, and justifying investment in, the ensuing larger trial. Pilot trials using the same design and methods as the subsequent main trial are ethically and fin...

    Authors: Georgina Charlesworth, Karen Burnell, Juanita Hoe, Martin Orrell and Ian Russell

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013 13:78

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