Paediatric cohort studies on lower respiratory diseases and their reporting quality: systematic review of the year 2018.

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The paediatric respiratory research community uses cohort studies extensively. However, the landscape of these studies and their quality of reporting has not been assessed.We performed a systematic review of publications on cohort studies reporting on paediatric lower respiratory problems published in 2018. We searched Medline and EMBASE and extracted data on the studies' and journals' characteristics. We assessed the number of items of the STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) checklist that a random sample (100 papers) reported. We analysed factors associated with the STROBE score and with the most poorly reported items, using Poisson and logistic regressionOf the 21 319 records identified, 369 full-text articles met our inclusion criteria. Most papers studied asthma aetiology through birth cohorts and were based in Europe or North America. The reporting quality was insufficient: 15% reported the 22 STROBE items; median score: 18 (IQR: 16-21). The most poorly reported items were: sources of bias, sample size, statistical methods, descriptive results and generalisability. None of the studies' or journals' factors were associated with the STROBE score.We need a joined effort of editors, reviewers and authors to improve the reporting quality of paediatric cohort studies on respiratory problems.

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