Reporting standards for child health research were few and poorly implemented
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OBJECTIVES: This study aims to identify existing reporting standards for child health research, assess the robustness of the standards development process, and evaluate the dissemination of these standards. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We searched MEDLINE, the EQUATOR Network Library, and Google to identify reporting standards for child health research studies. We assessed the adherence of the Guidance for Developers of Health Research Reporting Guidelines (GDHRG) by the identified reporting standards. We also assessed the use of the identified reporting standards by primary research studies, and the endorsement of the included reporting standards by journals. RESULTS: We identified six reporting standards for child health research, including two under development. Among the four available standards their median adherence to the 18 main steps of the GDHRG was 58.35% (range: 27.8%-83.3%). None of these four reporting standards had been endorsed by pediatric journals indexed by the Science Citation Index. Only 26 primary research studies declared that they followed one of the reporting standards. CONCLUSION: There is a quantitative and qualitative paucity of well-developed reporting standards for child health research. The available standards are also poorly implemented. This situation demands an urgent need to develop robust standards and ensure their implementation.
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