The Reporting of Studies Using Routinely Collected Health Data was often insufficient.

Hemkens, L.G. ; Benchimol, E.I. ; Langan, S.M. ; Briel, M. ; Kasenda, B. ; Januel, J.M. ; Herrett, E. ; von Elm, E. ;
The Reporting of Studies Using Routinely Collected Health Data was often insufficient.
J Clin Epidemiol, 2016;

To assess reporting quality of studies using routinely collected health data (RCD) to inform the RECORD (REporting of studies Conducted using Observational Routinely-collected health Data) guideline development.

PubMed search for observational studies using RCD on any epidemiological or clinical topic. Sample of studies published in 2012. Evaluation of 5 items based on the STROBE (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology) guideline and 8 newly developed items for RCD-studies.

Of 124 included studies, 39 (31.5%) clearly described its design in title or abstract. Complete information to frame a focused research question, i.e. on the population, intervention/exposure, and outcome, was provided for 51 studies (41.1%). In 44 studies where definitions of codes or classification algorithms would be necessary to operationalize such a research question, only 9 (20.5%) reported all items adequately. In 81 studies describing multivariable analyses, 54 (66.7%) reported all variables used for modelling and 34 (42.0%) reported basic details required for replication. Database linkage was reported adequately in 12 of 41 studies (29.3%). Statements about data sharing/availability were rare (5/124; 4%).

Most RCD-studies are insufficiently reported. Specific reporting guidelines and more awareness and education on their use is urgently needed.