BACKGROUND: The American College of Surgeons-Trauma Quality Improvement Program (ACS-TQIP) database is one of the most widely used databases for trauma research. We aimed to critically appraise the quality of the methodological reporting of ACS-TQIP studies. STUDY DESIGN: The ACS-TQIP bibliography was queried for all studies published between January 2018 and January 2021. The quality of data reporting was assessed using the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology-Reporting of Studies Conducted Using Observational Routinely Collected Health Data (STROBE-RECORD) statement and the JAMA Surgery checklist. Three items from each tool were not applicable and thus excluded. The quality of reporting was compared between high- and low-impact factor (IF) journals (cutoff for high IF is >90th percentile of all surgical journals). RESULTS: A total of 118 eligible studies were included; 12 (10%) were published in high-IF journals. The median (interquartile range) number of criteria fulfilled was 5 (4-6) for the STROBE-RECORD statement (of 10 items) and 5 (5-6) for the JAMA Surgery checklist (of 7 items). Specifically, 73% of studies did not describe the patient population selection process, 61% did not address data cleaning or the implications of missing values, and 76% did not properly state inclusion/exclusion criteria and/or outcome variables. Studies published in high-IF journals had remarkably higher quality of reporting than those in low-IF journals. CONCLUSION: The methodological reporting quality of ACS-TQIP studies remains suboptimal. Future efforts should focus on improving adherence to standard reporting guidelines to mitigate potential bias and improve the reproducibility of published studies.
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