TABLE 3Scoring Algorithm for Subdomains and Overall Quality Rating for Individual Studies

Definition and Scoring AlgorithmRating
Score algorithm for background (presented in the context of previous research, hypothesis clearly described)
• Both elements presentGood
• Neither presentPoor
• One of two elements presentFair
Score algorithm for sample definition (explicitly stated inclusion/exclusion criteria, uniform application of criteria, clear description of recruitment strategy, clear description of characteristics of the participants, power analysis or some other basis noted for determining the adequacy of study sample size)
• > Three elements presentGood
• < Two elements presentPoor
• Two or three elements presentFair
Score algorithm for exposure (clear definition of weight gain, check for plausibility of pregravid weight, clear explanation of actions taken on outliers)
• All three elements present or clearly definedGood
• Poor definition of weight gainPoor
• Moderate or very clear definition of weight gain, one or more other elements presentFair
Score algorithm for outcome (clear description of primary outcomes)
• All essential details describedGood
• Few or no essential details describedPoor
• Some essential details describedFair
Score algorithm for soundness of information (quality of source of information on exposure, confounders, and outcome)
• Good for all threeGood
• Poor on source of information for exposurePoor
• Any other scoreFair
Score algorithm for followup (adequate reporting of reasons for loss to followup)
• Retrospective or prospective study with clear reporting on loss to followupGood
• Prospective study, no reporting on followupPoor
• Retrospective study with no reporting on loss to followupFair
Score algorithm for analysis comparability (comparability of cohorts through design, reasonable choice of control variables, clear description of confounders, adequate adjustment for confounders)
• All elements presentGood
• Inadequate adjustment for confoundingPoor
• Any other scoreFair
Score algorithm for analysis outcome (withdrawals, lost to followup, and missing data adequately accounted for in the analysis, and appropriate statistical methods used)
• Both elements clearly presentGood
• Neither element presentPoor
• Any other scoreFair
Score algorithm for interpretation (results interpreted appropriately based on study design and statistics, clinically useful, appropriate presentation, presented in the context of prior research, and conclusion supported by results)
• All elements clearly presentGood
• Conclusions not supported by resultsPoor
• Any other scoreFair
Score algorithm for overall quality
• 5 or more good ratings and no poor ratings on subdomainsGood
• 3 or more poor ratings on subdomainsPoor
• < 5 good ratings and < 3 poor ratings on subdomains; 5 or more good ratings and any poor ratingsFair

From: E, Results from the Evidence-Based Report on Outcomes of Maternal Weight Gain

Cover of Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines.
Institute of Medicine (US) and National Research Council (US) Committee to Reexamine IOM Pregnancy Weight Guidelines; Rasmussen KM, Yaktine AL, editors.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2009.
Copyright © 2009, National Academy of Sciences.

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