Improving social justice in covid-19 health research: Interim guidelines for reporting health equity in observational studies

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the global imperative to address health inequities. Observational studies are a valuable source of evidence for real-world effects and impacts of implementing COVID-19 policies on the redistribution of inequities. We assembled a diverse global multi-disciplinary team to develop interim guidance for improving transparency in reporting health equity in COVID-19 observational studies. We identified 14 areas in the STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) checklist that need additional detail to encourage transparent reporting of health equity. We searched for examples of COVID-19 observational studies that analysed and reported health equity analysis across one or more social determinants of health. We engaged with Indigenous stakeholders and others groups experiencing health inequities to co-produce this guidance and to bring an intersectional lens. Taking health equity and social determinants of health into account contributes to the clinical and epidemiological understanding of the disease, identifying specific needs and supporting decision-making processes. Stakeholders are encouraged to consider using this guidance on observational research to help provide evidence to close the inequitable gaps in health outcomes.


Health and Human Performance

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