The reporting and handling of missing data in longitudinal studies of older adults is suboptimal: a methodological survey of geriatric ... View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2022-04-26

AUTHORS

Chinenye Okpara, Chidozie Edokwe, George Ioannidis, Alexandra Papaioannou, Jonathan D. Adachi, Lehana Thabane

ABSTRACT

BackgroundMissing data are common in longitudinal studies, and more so, in studies of older adults, who are susceptible to health and functional decline that limit completion of assessments. We assessed the extent, current reporting, and handling of missing data in longitudinal studies of older adults.MethodsMedline and Embase databases were searched from 2015 to 2019 for publications on longitudinal observational studies conducted among persons ≥55 years old. The search was restricted to 10 general geriatric journals published in English. Reporting and handling of missing data were assessed using questions developed from the recommended standards. Data were summarised descriptively as frequencies and proportions.ResultsA total of 165 studies were included in the review from 7032 identified records. In approximately half of the studies 97 (62.5%), there was either no comment on missing data or unclear descriptions. The percentage of missing data varied from 0.1 to 55%, with a 14% average among the studies that reported having missing data. Complete case analysis was the most common method for handling missing data with nearly 75% of the studies (n = 52) excluding individual observations due to missing data, at the initial phase of study inclusion or at the analysis stage. Of the 10 studies where multiple imputation was used, only 1 (10.0%) study followed the guideline for reporting the procedure fully using online supplementary documents.ConclusionThe current reporting and handling of missing data in longitudinal observational studies of older adults are inadequate. Journal endorsement and implementation of guidelines may potentially improve the quality of missing data reporting. Further, authors should be encouraged to use online supplementary files to provide additional details on how missing data were addressed, to allow for more transparency and comprehensive appraisal of studies. More... »

PAGES

122

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  • Identifiers

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    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1186/s12874-022-01605-w

    DOI

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12874-022-01605-w

    DIMENSIONS

    https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1147365863

    PUBMED

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/35473665


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