Reporting Guidelines for Surgical Technique: A Scoping Review and a Call for Action
31 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2022
Objective: To identify reporting guidelines related to surgical technique and propose recommendations for areas that require improvement.
Study Design and Setting: A protocol-guided scoping review was conducted. A literature search of MEDLINE, the EQUATOR Network Library, Google Scholar, and Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations was conducted to identify surgical technique reporting guidelines published up to December 31, 2021. Descriptive analysis was used to provide the basic characteristics, development process, and reporting items of the retrieved guidelines.
Results: Of the 55 surgical technique reporting guidelines included, 29 (52.7%) were published before 2010. Of the 11 clinical specialties covered by these guidelines, vascular surgery (n=18, 32.7%) was most common. A detailed development process was provided by 14 (25.5%) guidelines. The included guidelines generally showed a low degree of international and multidisciplinary cooperation. Few guidelines included a systematic literature review (n=13, 23.6%), used the Delphi method (n=4, 7.3%), or describe their post-publication strategy (n=6, 10.9%). The vast majority guidelines focused on the intraoperative period (n=50, 90.9%). Of the guidelines requiring detailed descriptions of surgical technique methodology (n=43, 78.2%), most failed to provide guidance on what constitutes an adequate description.
Conclusions: As the number of surgical technique papers increases, so does the number of related reporting guidelines. However, our study demonstrates significant deficiencies in the development methodology and practicality of current guidelines. A standardized reporting guideline that is developed rigorously and focuses on details of surgical technique may serve as a necessary impetus for change.
Funding Information: This project is supported by the AME Reporting Guidelines Research Fund (No. 464 2020-1016-885) and Lanzhou University Research Unit for Evidence-Based Evaluation and Guidelines, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Fund (2021RU017). The study sponsor participated in the design, with no involvement in collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data, in the writing of the article
Declaration of Interests: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form and declare no conflict of interest.
Keywords: surgery, Surgical technique, Reporting guideline, methodology, scoping review.
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