Lack of experimental reproducibility has led to growing interest in guidelines to enhance completeness and transparency in research reporting. This retrospective survey sought to determine compliance with Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (STARD) 2015 statement in the recent pathology scientific literature.
Two raters independently scored 171 pathology diagnostic accuracy studies for compliance with 34 STARD items and subcomponents. Overall adherence was calculated as a proportion after excluding nonapplicable items.
After excluding nonapplicable items, there was 50% overall adherence to STARD reporting recommendations. In total, 15.44 ± 3.59 items were reported per article (range, 4-28 out of maximum possible of 34). There was substantial heterogeneity in individual item reporting, with greater than 75% reporting in eight of 34 items and less than 25% reporting in 11 of 34 items. Less than 10% of articles reported hypotheses, subgroup analyses for confounding, sample size calculations, subject flow diagrams, study registrations, and links to full study protocols. Significantly more items were reported in articles from journals that endorsed STARD (16.14 vs 14.84, P = .0175).
These findings demonstrate incomplete reporting of essential items in pathology diagnostic accuracy studies. More vigorous enforcement of reporting checklists might improve adherence to minimum reporting standards.
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