The STROCSS statement: Strengthening the Reporting of Cohort Studies in Surgery
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INTRODUCTION: The development of reporting guidelines over the past 20 years represents a major advance in scholarly publishing with recent evidence showing positive impacts. Whilst over 350 reporting guidelines exist, there are few that are specific to surgery. Here we describe the development of the STROCSS guideline (Strengthening the Reporting of Cohort Studies in Surgery). METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We published our protocol apriori. Current guidelines for case series (PROCESS), cohort studies (STROBE) and randomised controlled trials (CONSORT) were analysed to compile a list of items which were used as baseline material for developing a suitable checklist for surgical cohort guidelines. These were then put forward in a Delphi consensus exercise to an expert panel of 74 surgeons and academics via Google Forms. RESULTS: The Delphi exercise was completed by 62% (46/74) of the participants. All the items were passed in a single round to create a STROCSS guideline consisting of 17 items. CONCLUSION: We present the STROCSS guideline for surgical cohort, cross-sectional and case-control studies consisting of a 17-item checklist. We hope its use will increase the transparency and reporting quality of such studies. This guideline is also suitable for cross-sectional and case control studies. We encourage authors, reviewers, journal editors and publishers to adopt these guidelines.
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