Health Services Research & Development

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Danan ER, Ullman K, Klap RS, Yano EM, Krebs EE. Evidence Map: Reporting of Results by Sex or Gender in Randomized, Controlled Trials with Women Veteran Participants (2008 to 2018). Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2019 Jun 25; 29 Suppl 1:S112-S120.
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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Higher participation of women in randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) has not led to significantly improved reporting of sex-stratified results. A recent evidence map of research on women veterans revealed that many studies did not report results by sex or gender. This study's objectives were to compare characteristics of RCTs with women veteran participants that did or did not report results by sex or gender and to assess how sex and gender are addressed in research with women veterans. METHODS: We extended the prior evidence map with a systematic search for RCTs with women veterans, published between 2008 and 2018. We compared the characteristics of RCTs that reported results by sex or gender with those of RCTs that did not, and reviewed methodology and reporting of sex/gender analyses. RESULTS: In addition to 11 studies from the prior evidence map, we assessed 1,820 abstracts for relevance and ultimately included 45 unique RCTs. Five trials included only women and 40 included both men and women (median, 14.3% women). Ten studies reported results by sex or gender. These trials were larger (median study size of n = 343.5 vs. n = 125.5) and included a higher median proportion of women participants (16.8% vs. 11.2%) than studies without sex/gender results. Ten of 11 trials that tested pharmacologic or device interventions did not report results by sex or gender. CONCLUSIONS: Reporting of results by sex or gender remains low in veteran research, but may improve with larger studies and increased recruitment of women veterans into trials. Trials of pharmacologic or device interventions may be targets for future reporting requirements. Standardization could improve attention to sex and gender in methodology and reporting.