Assessment of completeness of reporting in intervention studies using livestock: an example from pain mitigation interventions in neonatal piglets

A O'Connor, R Anthony, L Bergamasco, JF Coetzee, RS Dzikamunhenga, AK Johnson, LA Karriker, JN Marchant-Forde, GP Martineau, ST Millman, EA Pajor, KMD Rutherford, M Sprague, MA Sutherland, E von Borell, SR Webb

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    7 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Accurate and complete reporting of study methods, results and interpretation are essential components for any scientific process, allowing end-users to evaluate the internal and external validity of a study. When animals are used in research, excellence in reporting is expected as a matter of continued ethical acceptability of animal use in the sciences. Our primary objective was to assess completeness of reporting for a series of studies relevant to mitigation of pain in neonatal piglets undergoing routine management procedures. Our second objective was to illustrate how authors can report the items in the Reporting guidElines For randomized controLled trials for livEstoCk and food safety (REFLECT) statement using examples from the animal welfare science literature. A total of 52 studies from 40 articles were evaluated using a modified REFLECT statement. No single study reported all REFLECT checklist items. Seven studies reported specific objectives with testable hypotheses. Six studies identified primary or secondary outcomes. Randomization and blinding were considered to be partially reported in 21 and 18 studies, respectively. No studies reported the rationale for sample sizes. Several studies failed to report key design features such as units for measurement, means, standard deviations, standard errors for continuous outcomes or comparative characteristics for categorical outcomes expressed as either rates or proportions. In the discipline of animal welfare science, authors, reviewers and editors are encouraged to use available reporting guidelines to ensure that scientific methods and results are adequately described and free of misrepresentations and inaccuracies. Complete and accurate reporting increases the ability to apply the results of studies to the decision-making process and prevent wastage of financial and animal resources.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)660 - 670
    JournalAnimal
    Volume10
    Issue number4
    Early online date11 Nov 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPrint publication - Apr 2016

    Bibliographical note

    1024993

    Keywords

    • Animal welfare
    • Data collection
    • Pain
    • Piglets
    • Reviews

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