Critically Appraising the Quality of Reporting of ACS-TQIP Studies in the Era of Big Data Research
Anthony Gebran1, Antoine Bejjani2, Daniel Badin2, Hadi Sabbagh2, Tala Mahmoud3, Mohamad El Moheb1, Osaid Alser1, Inge A. Van Erp1, Charlie J. Nederpelt1, Bellal Joseph4, Avery Nathans5, Haytham M.A. Kaafarani1
1Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery & Surgical Critical Care, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; 2Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; 3Faculty of Medicine, University of Balamand, Beirut, Lebanon; 4Division of Trauma, Critical Care, Emergency Surgery, and Burns, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
The American College of Surgeons-Trauma Quality Improvement Program (ACS-TQIP) database is one of the most widely used databases for trauma research. We aimed to critically appraise the quality of methodological reporting of ACS-TQIP studies.
The ACS-TQIP bibliography was queried for all studies published between January 2018 and January 2021. The quality of reporting was assessed using the REporting of Studies Conducted Using Observational Routinely Collected Health Data (RECORD) statement and the JAMA-Surgery checklist. Three items from each tool were not applicable and excluded. The quality of reporting was compared between high and low impact factor (IF) journals (high IF: >90th percentile of all surgical journals).
A total of 118 eligible studies were included, 10% published in high IF journals. The median number of criteria fulfilled was 5 (IQR: 4-6) for the STROBE-RECORD statement (out of 10) and 5 (5-6) for the JAMA-Surgery checklist (out of 7). Specifically, 73% of studies did not describe the patient population selection process and 61% did not address data cleaning or the implications of missing values [Figure1]. Studies published in high IF journals had remarkably higher quality of reporting compared to those in low IF journals.
The methodological reporting quality of ACS-TQIP studies remains suboptimal. Future efforts should focus on improving adherence to standard reporting policies to mitigate potential bias and improve reproducibility of published studies.
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