Improving social justice in observational studies -- survey closing date has been extended until the end of October!
We are seeking your valuable feedback on how to improve reporting of health equity in observational studies by filling in an online survey which will take 15-20 minutes.
We are an international group of scientists, educators, decision-makers, ethicists, funders, and patients. Our goal is to develop guidance on reporting health equity considerations in observational studies to make health equity data more readily available for synthesis and decision-making. We define health inequities as disparities that are avoidable and unfair.
Factors related to health equity are frequently not reported for observational studies. We are using a collaborative research approach (called integrated knowledge translation) to develop an extension to the STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guideline. The STROBE-Equity will allow researchers to report on health equity in observational studies.
Our work started in January 2021 and has two parallel streams: one on research in general, and one on evidence related to Indigenous research. We have assessed available guidance and current reporting of health equity in observational studies. Now, we would like feedback from international stakeholders through an online survey, found here.
We welcome your participation in this 15-20-minute-long survey. Your participation will support an evidence and consensus-driven process to develop the extension to the reporting guideline (STROBE-Equity). Thank you!
STROBE Equity Extension
What is the motivation for the extension of STROBE for Equity? Health inequities can go frequently unreported in observational studies. This international group of scientists, educators, decision-makers, ethicists, funders, and patients, using an integrated knowledge translation approach, proposes to develop an extension to the STROBE (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology) guideline to deal specifically with these disparities.
What is the purpose of the extension of STROBE for equity? The objective of this study is to develop guidelines to improve the reporting of health equity considerations in observational studies. The equity extension supplements the original core STROBE. Extensions of the STROBE Statement have been developed to give additional guidance for observational studies with specific designs, data and interventions, and which in this case are focused on equity.
What is the name of the STROBE extension for Equity? The name of the extended version of STROBE for equity is "STROBE-Equity Extension".
How were the candidate checklist items developed? The candidate items presented in this survey were developed from a scoping review of available guidance, a methodological survey of a random sample of observational studies, and through discussions with experts on the STROBE Equity Executive and Advisory Board. Both international groups and membership are listed here.
Who will use the STROBE extension for Equity? For the same reason that people use STROBE, people who have conducted observational studies that build evidence that is relevant to equity, or "equity-relevant observational studies" will use the extension, as well as those wanting to see how the observational studies are reported. In addition, this extension of STROBE for Equity can be used with other STROBE extensions. The STROBE Equity extension will be made publicly available on the Cochrane and Campbell equity methods group website.
How is this global survey contributing to the development of the STROBE-Equity extension? This is the first step to collect broad feedback on our initial proposed items. The next step will be a modified Delphi process with a small multidisciplinary group of stakeholders. A Delphi process is a method for generating consensus or feedback from a group of individuals on a topic using a process in a manner that is inclusive. It is particularly useful when there are a larger number of participants who are not able to have a face-to-face meeting and when a solution can best be determined through subjective opinions of a group of individuals (as opposed to analytically for example). Your input on this survey is extremely valuable and we welcome you to share it with friends and colleagues
For more information, please refer to the study protocol: Improving social justice in observational studies: protocol for the development of a global and Indigenous STROBE-equity reporting guideline.
Health equity is defined as the absence of avoidable and unfair differences in health within and between populations. Observational studies are conducted in real-world settings and are well suited for understanding the distribution of health inequities and monitoring changes in the policy over time. We use the term ‘populations experiencing inequities’ to describe populations who are denied opportunities that others have to benefit from social and environmental conditions that lead to better health. Commitment to health equity is about improving health outcomes for people who experience socially-structured disadvantage and as a result, are not able to achieve their optimal health status. We use the acronym PROGRESS Plus.
CIHR-funded, 4 year project led by Drs Vivian Welch, Sarah Funnell, Janet E Jull, and Lawrence C Mbuagbaw to develop an equity extension of the STROBE reporting guideline for observational studies.
Health inequities can go frequently unreported in observational studies. This international group of scientists, educators, decision-makers, ethicists, funders, and patients, using an integrated knowledge translation approach, proposes to develop an extension to the STROBE (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology) guideline to deal specifically with these disparities. The project will embed a parallel stream focused on evidence related to Indigenous research. After assessing available guidance for reporting health equity in observational studies and assessing current reporting, they plan to seek international feedback, then conduct an evidence and consensus-driven process to develop a reporting guideline. The project started in January 2021. A series of empirical studies are planned, followed by a consensus meeting, with the final reporting guideline and statement expected in 2024.
See all the project details on the Open Science Framework.
STROBE-Equity Extension on the EQUATOR website