Age and Ageing collection: Clinical research methods for studies of older people

Date Published:
16 April 2019
Last updated: 
16 April 2019

For this online research methodologies collection we have selected key Age and Ageing publications aimed at improving the quality of clinical research for older people. Older people remain under-represented in clinical research, particularly those who have multi-morbidity, frailty or dementia, or who live in residential or nursing care. This collection is designed to act as a guide for researchers and authors to improve quality, maximise the value and impact of their work and reduce research waste. We hope the collection will also act as a guide for readers of studies relating to older people, to enhance understanding of published work and aid translation of new evidence into clinical practice.

The articles chosen highlight specific issues to consider when conducting and reporting studies of older people. These include how to describe the participants to allow readers to ascertain whether the characteristics are representative of target populations. The collection covers a wide range of research methods used in articles accepted by Age and Ageing, such as cohort studies, randomised control trials and systematic reviews. More recently, Age and Ageing has extended its range to encourage submission of diagnostic test accuracy studies, qualitative research and quality improvement. The collection aims to give an overview of these research methodologies, highlighting the specific issues to be considered when designing or reporting clinical studies of older people. The collection should be used alongside other online resources such as the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR) Network (www.equator-network.org), on which can be found important guidelines such as the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statements and checklists.

We hope that the collection will provide readers with a helpful overview of the current best practices for research of older people as well as highlighting important methodological developments that are helping to improve the quality of clinical research.

Collection collated by Miriam Thake (Great Western Hospital, Swindon, UK), Miles Witham (University of Newcastle, UK), David J Stott (University of Glasgow, UK).

Describing the participants in a study
R. M. Pickering

Review of methodologies of cohort studies of older people
Andrew Kingston, Carol Jagger

Conducting and reporting trials for older people
Miles D Witham, David J Stott

Improving recruitment of older people to clinical trials: use of the cohort multiple randomised controlled trial design
Andrew Clegg, Clare Relton, John Young, Miles Witham

Review of Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA) studies in older people
Yemisi Takwoingi, Terence J Quinn

How to present statistics in Medical Journals
E. Cheek, C. Rajkumar

Using quality assessment tools to critically appraise ageing research: a guide for clinicians
Jennifer Kirsty Harrison, James Reid, Terry J Quinn, Susan Deborah Shenkin

Systematic reviews: guidance relevant for studies of older people
Susan D. Shenkin, Jennifer K. Harrison, Tim Wilkinson, Richard M. Dodds, John P. A. Ioannidis

Qualitative Research in Age and Ageing: Enhancing Understanding of Ageing, Health and Illness
Mary Godfrey

Age and Ageing to introduce a new category of paper: healthcare improvement science
S G Parker, T Downes, M Godfrey, R Matthews, F C Martin

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