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Kirstine Færgemand Præstegaard

Reporting quality in preclinical animal experimental research in 2009 and 2018: A nationwide systematic investigation

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Lack of translation and irreproducibility challenge preclinical animal research. Insufficient reporting methodologies to safeguard study quality is part of the reason. This nationwide study investigates the reporting prevalence of these methodologies and scrutinizes the reported information's level of detail. Publications were from two time periods to convey any reporting progress and had at least one author affiliated to a Danish University. We retrieved all relevant animal experimental studies using a predefined research protocol and a systematic search. A random sampling of 250 studies from 2009 and 2018 led to 500 publications in total. Reporting of measures known to impact study results estimates were assessed. Part I discloses a simplified two-level scoring "yes/no" to identify the presence of reporting. Part II demonstrates an additional three-level scoring to analyze the reported information's level of detail. Overall reporting prevalence is low, although minor improvements are noted. Reporting of randomization increased from 24.0% in 2009 to 40.8% in 2018, blinded experiment conduct from 2.4% to 4.4%, blinded outcome assessment from 23.6% to 38.0%, and sample size calculation from 3.2% to 14.0%. Poor reporting of details is striking with reporting of the random allocation method to groups being only 1.2% in 2009 and 6.0% in 2018. Reporting of sample size calculation method was 2.4% in 2009 and 7.6% in 2018. Only conflict-of-interest statements reporting increased from 37.6% in 2009 to 90.4%. Measures safeguarding study quality are poorly reported in publications affiliated with Danish research institutions. Only a modest improvement was noted during the period 2009-2018, and the lack of details urgently prompts institutional strategies to accelerate this. We suggest thorough teaching in designing, conducting and reporting animal studies. Education in systematic review methodology should be implemented in this training and will increase motivation and behavior working towards quality improvements in science.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0275962
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

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