Editors of high profile general medical journals are clear that the quality and transparency of reporting must improve to encourage better research1. This will enable clinicians to replicate effective interventions and treatments2. Consensus-derived reporting guidelines have therefore been developed, usually published after consultation with specialist societies and critical academic review. UCL has been in the forefront of such efforts with respect to studies of both the epidemiology of AMR and of infection control and antibiotic stewardship interventions to limit its spread. In particular, UCL has led on the:
- ORION statement (for infection control interventions and outbreak reports)
- STROME-ID (for observational molecular epidemiological studies)
- Tidier statement (for accurate reporting of interventions)
UCL also lead an initiative in which 18 European and American infection control specialists and academics wrote to journals with a special interest in Infection Prevention and Control, encouraging them to endorse CONSORT (for randomised control trials), PRISMA (for systematic reviews), ORION (for infection control and antibiotic stewardship intervention studies and outbreak reports), STROBE (for observational epidemiological studies), and STROBE's extension, STROME-ID. Nearly all the journals have now endorsed these guidelines in their instructions to authors, some with accompanying editorials making the case.3,4 Many include a link to the EQUATOR network to cover other types of study, as this network promotes transparent and accurate reporting, and includes a comprehensive online database of guidelines.
As the letter to journals stated, "systematic reviews of outbreak reports, infection prevention and control and antibiotic stewardship interventions demonstrate a lack of high quality research capable of delivering the robust evidence base required to drive policy and practice." This is a matter of concern, as control of healthcare-associated infection and antimicrobial resistance through IPC interventions and antimicrobial stewardship are of global strategic importance.
Researchers at UCL might like to consider CONSORT, ORION, PRISMA, STROBE, STROME-ID, Tidier and other relevant guidelines, not only when reporting their study but when planning it.
- PLOS Medicine Editors. Better Reporting of Scientific Studies: Why it Matters. PLoS Med 10(8): e1001504.
- Hoffmann TC, Glasziou PP, Boutron I, Milne R, Perera R, Moher D et al. Better reporting of interventions: template for intervention description and replication (TIDieR) checklist and guide. BMJ (2014), 348:g1687.
- Stone SP, Cookson. Endorsing reporting guidelines: Infection control literature gets ahead of the game. Am J Infection (2016) Control, 44(12):1446-8. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2016.06.038)
- Stone S, Cookson B. Endorsing Reporting Guidelines: the Journal of Infection Prevention helps show the way! J Infect Preve (2016),17(6): 264-6.