DEVELOPMENT OF A QUANTITATIVE SCORING METHOD FOR STROBE CHECKLIST
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Background: Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has brought a substantial change in medical practice. Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STORBE) guidelines do not have a method to assign quality score to observational study publications which might lead to differences in assessing quality of publication. A scoring method can provide quantitative estimates that could improve quality of reporting, eventual conduct of observational studies and can lead to more transparent judgements about the quality of evidence. Objectives:To develop a quantitative scoring method for STROBE checklist and to design a rating scale in order to categorize epidemiological study publications into excellent, good, fair, poor quality based on the overall scores. Methods:STROBE-M (STROBE Modified) checklist was developed by dividing composite STROBE items into multiple items for ease of comprehension and scoring. For each item, we decided to have 3 quality scores option i.e. 0 (not fulfilled), 1 (fulfilled) and NA (not applicable). STROBE-M adherence scoring method was developed to assign quality scores to study publications. Results: Cross sectional studies had 40% good and 60% fair; case control studies had 7% good and 93% excellent; cohort studies had 100% study publications with excellent grade as per STROBE-M scoring. Cross sectional studies had overall fair STROBE-M adherence grade while case control studies and cohort studies had excellent grade. Conclusion: This study highlighted deficiencies in the reporting of observational studies. Based on our experience, the STROBE-M checklist seems to be a useful tool for assessing the reporting quality of the observational studies.
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