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Using reporting guidelines to publish paediatric research
  1. Katie Harron
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katie Harron, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SH, UK; katie.harron{at}lshtm.ac.uk

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Many medicines and devices used for the healthcare of children are unlicensed and untested for use in paediatrics, and clinicians often have to rely on evidence in adults that may not be generalisable to children.1 ,2 There are a number of reasons why evidence in adults cannot always be safely extrapolated to children, including different pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes, and drug safety and efficacy being dependent on stage of development. Growing recognition of these issues has led to initiatives to increase the number of paediatric trials.3 In addition, recognition of the important differences in design and interpretation of trials conducted in adults and children—including ethical issues, validity of outcomes, age-specific and developmental stage-specific harms and confounders—has highlighted deficiencies in the quality of paediatric trial conduct and reporting and prompted repeated calls for child-specific reporting guidelines.4

Reporting guidelines such as Consolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) and STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) aim to improve transparency, allowing identification of potential biases, critical assessments of robustness and replication in different settings.5 ,6 Many leading journals actively endorse reporting guidelines and refer authors to the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR) Network website (http://www.equator-network.org). The EQUATOR Network was established to improve the reliability and usability of health research literature by facilitating accurate and complete reporting of research studies.7

Despite the comprehensive collection of existing resources and reporting guidelines …

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