DescriptionExploring the impact of implementing telehealth and telemedicine in rural areas of Saudi
Arabia on healthcare accessibility and service delivery
Task 1:

Revise the introduction (AI-generated writing issues).
Task 2:

Add more articles to the Literature Review Matrix. (Academic databases – Peer-reviewed
journal articles). Fill out the Lit Matrix Rejection Reason.
Task 3:

Develop the Methods.
Exploring the impact of implementing telehealth and telemedicine in rural areas of Saudi
Arabia on healthcare accessibility and service delivery
Introduction
Access to quality healthcare services is a critical aspect of ensuring the well-being of
populations, regardless of their geographic location. However, in many rural areas around the
world, including Saudi Arabia, healthcare accessibility and service delivery face significant
challenges. Limited healthcare facilities, shortage of healthcare professionals, and geographical
barriers contribute to adverse patient outcomes and inequitable access to healthcare services. In
recent years, telehealth and telemedicine have emerged as promising solutions to bridge the
healthcare gap in rural areas (Alsobayel et al., 2021). Telehealth involves the delivery of healthcare
services and information using electronic communication technologies, while telemedicine refers
specifically to remote clinical services provided through telecommunication platforms. By
leveraging technology, telehealth and telemedicine have the potential to overcome the barriers of
distance and improve healthcare accessibility for individuals living in rural regions.
Saudi Arabia, a vast country with diverse geographic landscapes, is no stranger to the challenges
of healthcare delivery in rural areas. The implementation of telehealth and telemedicine initiatives
in these regions presents an opportunity to address the healthcare disparities experienced by rural
populations (Ahmad et al., 2013). However, it is crucial to assess the impact of such
implementations on healthcare accessibility and service delivery to ensure their effectiveness and
identify any potential barriers.
Therefore, this systematic literature review aims to explore the impact of implementing
telehealth and telemedicine in rural areas of Saudi Arabia on healthcare accessibility and service
delivery (Al-rayes et al., 2020). By synthesizing existing research findings, this review seeks to
shed light on the outcomes, challenges, and benefits associated with telehealth and telemedicine
initiatives in improving healthcare accessibility for rural populations. The insights gained from
this review can inform policymakers, healthcare organizations, and researchers about the potential
of telehealth and telemedicine in addressing the healthcare needs of rural communities in Saudi
Arabia.
The subsequent sections of this systematic literature review will delve into the research problem,
research question, and the methodology employed to identify and analyze relevant studies. The
review will then present the findings, discuss their implications, and conclude with
recommendations for future research and practice. By exploring the impact of telehealth and
telemedicine in rural areas of Saudi Arabia, this review aims to contribute to the growing body of
knowledge surrounding healthcare accessibility and service delivery in underserved regions.
References
Alsobayel, H., Alodaibi, F., Albarrati, A., Alsalamah, N., Alhawas, F., & Alhowimel, A. (2021).
Does telerehabilitation help in reducing disability among people with musculoskeletal
conditions? A preliminary study. International Journal of Environmental Research and
Public Health, 19(1), 72.
Ahmad, M., A AlSuhaibany, S., Z Alsharqi, O., M Al-Borie, H., & M Qattan, A. (2013).
Telemedicine application and difficulties among Prince Sultan Medical City in Saudi
Arabia. American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal, 5(6).
Al-rayes, S. A., Aldossary, H., Aldoukhi, E., Alahmedalyousif, Z., Aldawood, G., & Alumran, A.
(2020). The awareness and utilization of 937-telephone health services in Saudi Arabia:
cross-sectional survey study. Informatics in Medicine Unlocked, 20, 100393.
Individual Research
Student Literature Review Matrix
Proposed Systematic Literature Review Topic:
Exploring the impact of implementing telehealth and telemedicin
service d
Student Name:
Record No.
Date (year)
Author(s)
1
2022
Ibrahim Al Baalharith, Mona Al
Sherim, Sarah Hamad G. Almutairi,
and Azizah Saleh Alhaggas Albaqami
2
2019
Fares Alshammari, Sehar un-Nisa
Hassan
Ahmed Al Kuwaiti, Fahd A. Al
Muhanna,and Saad Al Amri
3
2018
4
2021
5
2020
Nehad J. Ahmed
6
2021
Abeer Alharbi, Joharah Alzuwaed &
Hind Qasem
Azza Ali El-Mahalli, Sahar Hafez Elkhafif, and Mona Faisal Al-Qahtani,
7
8
9
2021
Manahil Alfuraydan ,Jodie
Croxall,Lisa Hurt,Mike Kerr,Sinead
Brophy
2021
Omar Alnobani, Nasriah Zakaria,
Mohamad-Hani Temsah, Amr A.
Jamal, Nour Alkamel, and Shabana
Tharkar
2022
Mohammed Gh. Alzahrani 1,Nazik M.
A. Zakari 2ORCID,Dina I. Abuabah
2ORCID,Mona S. Ousman
2ORCID,Jing Xu 3ORCID andHanadi
Y. Hama
10
2016
Khaled Alsulame a, Mohamed Khalifa
b, Mowafa Househ
11
2021
Saud Alsahali
12
2020
Hebah ElGibreen
13
14
15
2020
Sadat Muzammil
2020
Saja A. Al-rayes, Hessah Aldossary,
Ethar Aldoukhi, Zainab
Alahmedalyousif, Ghadeer Aldawood,
Arwa Alumran
2020
Ala’Eddin M. Ahmad, Suliman A.
AlSuhaibany, Omar Z. Alsharqi,
Hussein M. Al-Borie, Ameerah M.
Qattan
16
2021
Hana Alsobayel 1,Faris Alodaibi
1ORCID,Ali Albarrati,Norah
Alsalamah ,Fadwa Alhawas andAhmed
Alhowimel
17
2022
Suha Jaafar Albahrani
18
2010
Mowafa Househ
19
2021
Asmaa Abdel Nasser
20
2021
Tourkmani, Alian A. Alrasheedy
mplementing telehealth and telemedicine in rural areas of Saudi Arabia on healthcare accessibility and
service delivery
Article Title
Telehealth and Transformation of Nursing Care in Saudi Arabia:
A Systematic Review
Journal Name
Volume 2022 | Article ID 8426095
Perceptions, Preferences and Experiences of Telemedicine among
Users of Information and Communication Technology in Saudi
Journal Article
Arabia
Implementation of Digital Health Technology at Academic
Medical Centers in Saudi Arabia
Medical Journal
Successes and Challenges in the Implementation and Application
Medical Journal
of Telemedicine in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia
Current Practice of Using Technology in Health-care Delivery in
Saudi Arabia: Challenges and Solutions
Medical Journal
Evaluation of e-health (Seha) application: a cross-sectional study
in Saudi Arabia
Research article
Use of telehealth for facilitating the diagnostic assessment of
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): A scoping review
Research article
Knowledge, Attitude, and Perception of Health Care Personnel
Working in Intensive Care Units of Mass Gatherings Toward the
Application of Telemedicine Robotic Remote-Presence
Technology: A Cross-Sectional Multicenter Study
Research article
Examining Healthcare Professionals’ Telehealth Usability before Nursing Reports, 12(3), 648and during COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Study 654
E-Health status in Saudi Arabia: A review of current literature
Research article
Awareness, Views, Perceptions, and Beliefs of Pharmacy Interns
Regarding Digital Health in Saudi Arabia: Cross-sectional Study
Research article
Chapter 5: Health Transformation in Saudi Arabia via Connected
Research article
Health Technologies
Tele-Health: Is it only for the rural areas? A review on its wider
use.
VOL. 5 NO. 1 (2020)
The awareness and utilization of 937-telephone health services in
Volume 20
Saudi Arabia: Cross-sectional survey study
Telemedicine application and difficulties among Prince Sultan
Medical City in Saudi Arabia
Volume 5, Number 6 AASRJ Issue
Does Telerehabilitation Help in Reducing Disability among
People with Musculoskeletal Conditions? A Preliminary Study
Research article
Patient experience with Telemedicine in Primary Health Care in
Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.
European Journal of
Molecular
Establishing an Electronic Health Center of Research Excellence
(E-CoRE) within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Vol.4
Measuring the Patients’ Satisfaction About Telemedicine Used in
10.7759/cureus.13382
Saudi Arabia During COVID-19 Pandemic
Cost-effectiveness of telemedicine care for patients with
uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus during the COVID-19
pandemic in Saudi Arabia
Vol. 12:
Permalink/website
https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/8
426095
https://jhidc.org/index.php/jhidc/
issue/view/34
https://doi.org/10.5001%2Fomj.2
018.69
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p
mc/articles/PMC3510649/
http://www.asiapharmaceutics.in
fo/index.php/ajp/article/view/393
5
https://bmcmedinformdecismak.b
iomedcentral.com/articles/10.118
6/s12911-021-01437-6
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/
article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.
0236415
https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/
abs/10.1089/tmj.2020.0469
https://www.mdpi.com/20394403/12/3/64
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hlpt.201
6.02.005
https://mededu.jmir.org/2021/3/e
31149/
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3030-46355-7_28
https://doi.org/10.30953/tmt.v5.1
62
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imu.202
0.100393
http://www.aasrc.org/aasrj/index.
php/aasrj/article/view/1507
https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph190
10072
https://ejmcm.com/article_21258
_e0cc314953f2ebddab48d76768
d60b26.pdf
https://jhidc.org/index.php/jhidc/
article/download/42/74
https://www.cureus.com/articles/
51870-measuring-the-patientssatisfaction-about-telemedicineused-in-saudi-arabia-duringcovid-19-pandemic.pdf
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/
pdf/10.1177/2040622321104254
2
Summary/Relevance
Technological advancements, particularly the adoption of mobile technologies and the SEHA e-health application,
have transformed nursing care, quality, and education in Saudi Arabia. A systematic review highlighted the
positive impact of telehealth on nursing practice, quality, and education, emphasizing the need for integration,
training, and further research in telenursing.
This study examined the perceptions, preferences, and experiences of telemedicine among users in Saudi Arabia.
Findings revealed limited knowledge and trust in telemedicine, with the need for greater public education about its
benefits and the importance of building trust through cultural adaptation. Future research should focus on specific
populations and outcomes.
This paper advocates for the utilization of digital health technologies in Academic Medical Centers (AMCs) in
Saudi Arabia to enhance patient care, increase efficiency, and improve medical education. The use of electronic
health records, smartphones, video-imaging technologies, and virtual self-care tools can connect rural patients
with consultants, validate new devices, and enrich medical students’ knowledge in digital health.
This study investigated the perceptions of health professionals towards telemedicine adoption in Saudi Arabian
hospitals. Findings showed limited utilization of telemedicine modalities despite its potential benefits.
Nonadopters expressed greater interest and perceived benefits, while adopters highlighted improving care quality
and access. Lack of knowledge about telemedicine was identified as a significant barrier, emphasizing the need
for information dissemination and proper training.
This narrative review explores the current use of technology in healthcare delivery in Saudi Arabia and identifies
the impact on patients and reported barriers. Findings suggest that while technology adoption is growing, it
remains low due to infrastructure limitations, lack of awareness, shortage of professionals, and absence of national
plans and regulations. Recommendations are provided to enhance technology utilization in healthcare services.
Results showed that app users had higher scores in terms of ease of access to health services, satisfaction with
health services, and efficiency compared to non-users. The use of the app was associated with age, gender, region,
and occupation. Users who experienced technical issues had lower scores in all three areas. These findings
highlight the positive impact of the app in enhancing healthcare delivery and emphasize the importance of
addressing technical issues to further improve its effectiveness.
The utilization of telehealth techniques in the diagnosis and evaluation of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in
children and adults was the subject of this scoping study. Real-time video conferencing and store-and-forward
strategies were the two primary techniques that emerged from the review. The results showed that distant
approaches and in-person evaluations had a high degree of agreement in terms of diagnosis, and both families and
physicians expressed high levels of satisfaction. The findings imply that telehealth has the potential to enhance
access to ASD evaluation and diagnosis, particularly for those with obvious autistic symptoms and adults with
ASD, even if the field is still in its early stages and the trials had small sample sizes. To learn more about the
effectiveness of telehealth in this situation, larger randomized controlled trials are required.
The findings revealed an overall positive attitude but limited knowledge among the participants. They expressed
agreement in using the technology for seeking expert opinions, improving communication among providers, and
enhancing clinical decisions during mass gatherings. However, concerns regarding patient privacy and
confidentiality were raised. Barriers identified included a lack of training, insufficient knowledge about
telemedicine and robotic systems, and equipment malfunctions.
The authors discuss about how COVID-19 affected Saudi Arabian healthcare workers and how the epidemic led
to more people using telemedicine. The study looks at interprofessional cooperation, telehealth use, and job status
at this time. A total of 66 healthcare practitioners made up the final sample for the study, which was based on the
Technology Acceptance Model. The research highlights the relationship between increasing telehealth use and
improved Telehealth Usability Questionnaire ratings, as well as the positive link between interprofessional
satisfaction and frequency of contacts. To enhance interprofessionalism, the authors advise more training and
telehealth integration.
The literature review addresses certain e-health applications, including telemedicine, mobile health, clinical
decision support systems, computerized provider order entry (CPOE), electronic health records (EHR), electronic
medical records (EMR), and other e-health applications. The results indicate that e-health is expanding in Saudi
Arabia as a result of the use of e-health technology by several businesses and people. There is a need for more
thorough study on the existing and prospective usage of e-health in healthcare organizations across the area, as the
studies that are currently available on the topic are few and only include data from a small number of
organizations.
This cross-sectional study’s goal was to evaluate the knowledge and opinions of Saudi Arabian pharmacy interns
about digital health applications and the incorporation of digital health education into their curricula. Researchers
at Unaizah College of Pharmacy, Qassim University, conducted a web-based survey to gather information from
pharmacy interns there. The provided abstract does not indicate the study’s findings.
The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has recognized the potential of connected health technologies to improve
healthcare quality and safety, and to overcome geographical barriers between patients and healthcare
professionals. The chapter discusses the progress made in healthcare transformation in Saudi Arabia, including the
Saudi model of care, key governmental projects, and relevant research articles. It also examines how connected
health technologies are promoted in the country, with specific use cases tailored to Saudi culture.
The piece talks at the four key pillars of telehealth: cost-effectiveness, patient perception, staff perspective, and
internet and technology quality. Telehealth is a relatively new idea in healthcare delivery and is seen as a useful
way to manage patients, especially in isolated areas. Although there is a lot of literature on telehealth, much of it
focuses on certain specializations or simply a few elements of care delivery. Based on the research that has been
published in the last two years, the article attempts to offer an overview of the current viewpoints and findings
connected to these four important telehealth domains.
The 937 telephone health service, which the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health created, is the subject of this
research, which looks at awareness and use. The general population was given access to an online questionnaire,
which was distributed as part of a quantitative cross-sectional study design. Females from the eastern area made
up the bulk of the responders. Only a tiny fraction of respondents reported using the telephone health service,
which indicated that awareness and use were poor. Age, province, nationality, educational attainment, and having
children were all linked with awareness and use of the service.
To understand the variance in telemedicine application and problems, the study presents and examines a twofactor model. Data was gathered through questionnaires distributed to hospital administrators and specialists, as
well as in-depth interviews. The findings suggest that telemedicine systems can assist reduce patient referrals to
other institutions while also increasing the amount and quality of medical information. However, inadequate
training in the use of telemedicine techniques was noted as a serious challenge. The report recommends gradually
using telemedicine in military and government hospitals to build capability and solve possible difficulties.
The study used an online video conferencing platform to deliver physiotherapy consultations and interventions to
those who couldn’t obtain in-person care during the COVID-19 epidemic. For six weeks, the participants got
individualized instruction and fitness activities, and their outcomes were assessed using several questionnaires.
The results showed substantial increases in outcomes and high satisfaction with the telerehabilitation intervention,
indicating that telerehabilitation is a viable and successful technique of providing physiotherapy therapies to
patients with musculoskeletal disorders in Saudi Arabia.
The purpose of this study, which was done in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia, was to investigate patient satisfaction with
virtual primary healthcare services provided at government primary healthcare institutions. A cross-sectional
study of patients who used virtual clinics between January 2020 and March 2022 was done. The questionnaire
gathered data on demographics, satisfaction levels, and virtual clinic experiences. According to the survey, 68.1%
of patients were satisfied with virtual clinics overall. Family medical clinics were the most widely used virtual
clinics. The inability to meet healthcare experts face-to-face was the most common complaint among participants.
Patient satisfaction was shown to be substantially related to age, amount of education, and knowledge about
telemedicine.
To encourage and enhance electronic health research, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has created an Electronic
Health Center of Research Excellence (E-CoRE). E-CoRE seeks to improve patient outcomes and support
evidence-based decision making through improving the use of technology in healthcare. It will act as a focus for
collaborative research, innovation, and training in the field of electronic health, contributing to Saudi Arabia’s
overall healthcare growth.
The purpose of this cross-sectional survey was to analyze patients’ experiences and views of utilizing telemedicine
in Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 epidemic. A total of 425 telemedicine patients took part in the study.
According to the survey, the majority of participants (84.9%) agreed that telemedicine made healthcare more
accessible throughout the epidemic. Participants were quite pleased with the convenience of registration and the
chance to converse freely. Satisfaction associated favorably with attitude ratings. According to the study, patients
in Saudi Arabia have an adequate degree of satisfaction and attitude toward telemedicine programs, but more
efforts are needed to raise patient awareness of existing teleconsultation services.
For patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus, this retrospective research assessed the cost-effectiveness
of telemedicine. The clinical efficacy (reduction in HbA1c) and overall expenses in both groups were evaluated in
the study, which compared a telemedicine care model to a conventional care model. The telemedicine treatment
strategy produced better results and a greater cost but also a bigger decrease in HbA1c levels. According to the
study’s findings, normal diabetic treatment may incorporate telemedicine services since they are affordable and
efficient.
A Systematic Literature Review Article
Exploring the impact of implementing telehealth and telemedicine in rural areas of Saudi
Arabia on healthcare accessibility and service delivery
The Background Issue:
A significant challenge in healthcare informatics in Saudi Arabia is the effective management of
health service delivery for rural patients, given the healthcare facilities and professionals shortages,
which contribute to adverse patient outcomes.
Research Problem:
It is unknown what the impact of implementing telehealth and telemedicine in rural areas of Saudi
Arabia is on healthcare accessibility and service delivery.
Research Question:
What is the impact of implementing telehealth and telemedicine in rural areas of Saudi Arabia on
healthcare accessibility and service delivery?
Purpose Statement:
This systematic literature review explores the impact of implementing telehealth and telemedicine
in rural areas of Saudi Arabia on healthcare accessibility and service delivery.
Population:
The population will consist of peer-reviewed journal articles (or grey literature if needed)
findings/results, that include the impact of implementing telehealth and telemedicine in rural areas
of Saudi Arabia on healthcare accessibility and service delivery.
Key search words: comes directly from the research question.
Here is a list:
“Telehealth and telemedicine in rural areas of Saudi Arabia”
“Impact of telehealth on healthcare accessibility in rural Saudi Arabia”
“Telemedicine initiatives and service delivery in rural Saudi Arabia”
“Healthcare access and telehealth adoption in rural areas of Saudi Arabia”
“Telehealth programs and healthcare delivery in remote regions of Saudi Arabia”
“Telemedicine effectiveness in improving healthcare accessibility in rural Saudi Arabia”
“Challenges and benefits of implementing telehealth in rural areas of Saudi Arabia”
“Telemedicine adoption and service quality in rural healthcare settings in Saudi Arabia”
“Evaluating the impact of telehealth on healthcare outcomes in rural Saudi Arabia”
“Case studies of telehealth implementation in rural areas of Saudi Arabia”
“Telehealth implementation in rural areas”
“Telehealth services for rural populations”
“Adoption of telehealth in rural communities”
“Telehealth programs in underserved rural areas”
“Expanding telehealth access in rural regions”
“Telemedicine initiatives for rural healthcare delivery”
“Barriers to telehealth implementation in rural settings”
“Telehealth technology for rural healthcare”
“Best practices for telehealth implementation in rural areas”
“Case studies of successful telehealth programs in rural communities”
“Telemedicine and healthcare accessibility”
“Impact of telemedicine on healthcare services”
“Telemedicine benefits for improving accessibility”
“Enhancing healthcare services through telemedicine”
“Telemedicine and increased healthcare access”
“Improving service delivery with telemedicine”
“Accessibility improvements through telemedicine”
“Telemedicine and expanded healthcare reach”
“Telemedicine’s role in enhancing healthcare services”
“Effectiveness of telemedicine in improving accessibility and services”
Individual Research
Student Literature Review Matrix
Proposed Systematic Literature Review Topic:
Student Name:
Record No.
1
2
3
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7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
Reject reason?
Date (year)
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
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135
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142
143
144
145
146
147
148
149
150
Author(s)
Remember to start big (est. 100 articles)…
…and end small (est. 20 articles).
Article Title
Reject reasons include: duplicate article
book
conference proceeding
other non-journal
other?
Journal Name
Permalink/website
Summary/Relevance
If a student does not use an article in the study, there must be a reason to reject the article. We will summarize (in a few words) the rejection reason for an article
(based on an eligibility process – exclusion/inclusion criteria).
We may collect hundred-plus articles, but only 20 articles meet the inclusion/exclusion research criteria set by a student.
In our method section of the article, it is time to develop inclusion and exclusion criteria (what articles will be accepted/rejected in our study and why). This will also
help us revise our Literature Matrix further.
Then, based on the eligibility criteria (why keep an article in the research project or reject an article) , we will reject (exclude) specific articles using the exclusion
criteria. We may exclude (reject) an article in our study based on the date of publication (2019-2023), full text (versus abstracts), peer-reviewed journals (versus
non-peer-reviewed journals), duplicate articles (articles at times are published under different journals), written in non-English (sometimes we will locate articles in
a different language and use a translation application, which may change the original meaning of the concepts behind the article), and other reasons.
Record
No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Reject reason?
Publication Year
Abstract Only
Not peer-reviewed
Duplicate Article
Non-English Language
Book
References too old
Date (year)
1991
2022
2021
2019
2020
2023
2022
This way, if an editor of a journal ever asked why an article was not chosen for the study, we could quickly identify the reason.
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 66 (2013) 817
WRITING TIPS SERIES
Effective writing and publishing scientific papers, part IV: methods
1. What you should know
If you consider a research study as a delicate dish of
knowledge, a paper’s methods section would be like a recipe
that lists all the necessary ingredients of the study and how
they need to be combined during cooking. Ideally, it allows
the dish to be prepared again with the same result. The
methods section ties the introduction to the results section
to create a clear story line; it should present the obvious approach to answer the research question and define the structure in which the results will be presented later.
The methods section of a paper presenting original research from a quantitative study has four basic elements:
study design, setting and subjects, data collection, and data
analysis. It is quite common to use such subheadings to
structure the section (the target journal may offer specific
guidance). In the case of research in humans, the authority
providing ethical clearance needs to be stated as well.
2. What you should do
Start by developing a ‘‘skeleton’’ with the basic elements
of the methods section (see the first installment of this series).
If available, refer to a published protocol or previously published papers from the same research project for additional
information about the methods. This allows you to keep the
methods section more concise. Be sure, however, to include
all information that the reader needs to understand on how
the key findings in this paper were derived.
Mention the design of the present study, such as randomized controlled trial, prospective/retrospective cohort study,
caseecontrol study, or cross-sectional survey. If you find it
difficult to fit your study into a specific type of design, try to
describe the key design components, for example whether it
was an interventional and/or observational study and whether
data were collected longitudinally and/or cross-sectionally.
Explain when and where the study was conducted, how the
sample was recruited or selected, and which inclusion/
Checklist for the methods section
Include basic information on study design, setting and subjects,
data collection, data analysis, and ethical approval
Refer to previous publications from the same large research project,
such as a study protocol, for additional information (if applicable)
Consider providing detailed information on the methods as webonly supplementary materials
Ask yourself, ‘‘Would a researcher be able to reproduce the study
with the information I provide in this paper?’’
0895-4356/$ – see front matter Ó 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.01.003
exclusion criteria were applied. Provide a sample size calculation for studies set up to statistically test a specific hypothesis.
With regard to the data collection, define precisely what
exposure (e.g., stressful life events) or intervention (e.g.,
cognitive behavioral therapy) you investigated, what outcomes you measured (e.g., depression), how you measured
them (e.g., using a self-reported depression scale), and
when measurements were made (e.g., during the screening
visit and after 12 months of follow-up). Cite original research on existing measurement tools you used, and state
if you designed a tool specifically for the study. Provide details of measurement properties (reproducibility, validity,
and responsiveness) if these are crucial for the interpretation of the main results. A useful order if you used various
measurements is to start with the outcome measure (or dependent variable), followed by the exposure measures (or
main independent variables), and possible covariates.
Match the part on data analysis with the research questions. If you present a primary research question in your
introduction and one or more secondary questions, start
by explaining the primary analysis, followed by the secondary analyses. Provide sufficient detail on the statistical techniques you used; do not assume that readers
understand what you did from the name of a technique.
Be very clear about the definition and operationalization
of the dependent and main independent variable, the use
of covariates (i.e., if and how you adjusted your analyses), and the handling of missing data. Be honest and
clear about the analyses you intended a priori to test your
hypothesis and the analyses that were exploratory. Avoid
putting results in the methods section, such as numbers of
subjects recruited and followed up.
As there may be various ways to answer a research question, try to explain, where necessary, why you made certain
methodological choices and why you think these were the
best options given the context. You can demonstrate the
credibility of your methods by citing previous research.
After you have drafted the methods section, ask yourself, ‘‘Would a researcher be able to reproduce our study
with the information I provide in this paper?’’ Also check
whether the section contains redundant information that is
not necessary to understand the paper’s story line. This
check is particularly important when the paper is one of
the many arising from a larger study. Only describe
methods for which results are presented later.
Daniel Kotz and Jochen W.L. Cals
E-mail address: d.kotz@maastrichtuniversity.nl (D. Kotz)
©2013 Elsevier

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