BACKGROUND: Surveys are a common tool used to gather information about practices across many medical specialties. The quality of survey reporting impacts the strength of any conclusions. Thorough and accurate reporting of survey-based research is critical for evaluation of the validity, reliability, and generalizability of the results. The objective of this study was to appraise the quality of recently reported surveys in transfusion medicine (TM). STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A systematic review of the literature was performed to identify studies evaluating clinical practices in TM that used a questionnaire as the research tool and were published between January 2001 and November 2017. Manuscripts that met eligible criteria were appraised using a modified Survey Reporting Guideline questionnaire. RESULTS: The search identified 1632 references, from which 54 abstracts met eligibility criteria for analysis. Only seven (13%) manuscripts reported reliability and validity of the survey tool, 26 (48%) provided a description of the survey population and sample frame, and 11 (20%) indicated the representativeness of the underlying population. Additional reporting limitations included 31 (57%) manuscripts reporting the response rate calculation, two (4%) the analysis of nonresponse error, nine (17%) the method description for handling of missing data, 11 (20%) the analysis of responder and nonresponder characteristics, and 23 (43%) explicitly discussed the generalizability of the results. CONCLUSION: Our findings document quality deficiencies in the reporting of research conducted using surveys in TM. Validated guidelines for the reporting of survey-based clinical research should be developed and applied to improve the quality of survey reporting in TM.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Carolyn Doree, Systematic Review Initiative, NHS Blood & Transplant, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headley Way, Oxford OX3 9BQ, UK.
© 2018 AABB