Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
ijerph-18-09357-v3.pdf (1.12 MB)

Improving social justice in COVID-19 health research: interim guidelines for reporting health equity in observational studies

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-03-28, 15:10 authored by Alba Antequera, Daeria O. Lawson, Stephen G. Noorduyn, Omar Dewidar, Marc Avey, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Catherine Chamberlain, Holly Ellingwood, Damian Francis, Sarah Funnell, Elizabeth Ghogomu, Regina Greer-Smith, Tanya Horsley, Clara Juando-Prats, Janet Jull, Elizabeth Kristjansson, Julian Little, Stuart G. Nicholls, Miriam Nkangu, Mark Petticrew, Gabriel Rada, Anita Rizvi, Larissa Shamseer, Melissa SharpMelissa Sharp, Janice Tufte, Peter Tugwell, Francisca Verdugo-Paiva, Harry Wang, Xiaoqin Wang, Lawrence Mbuagbaw, Vivian Welch
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the global imperative to address health inequities. Observational studies are a valuable source of evidence for real-world effects and impacts of implementing COVID-19 policies on the redistribution of inequities. We assembled a diverse global multi-disciplinary team to develop interim guidance for improving transparency in reporting health equity in COVID-19 observational studies. We identified 14 areas in the STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) checklist that need additional detail to encourage transparent reporting of health equity. We searched for examples of COVID-19 observational studies that analysed and reported health equity analysis across one or more social determinants of health. We engaged with Indigenous stakeholders and others groups experiencing health inequities to co-produce this guidance and to bring an intersectional lens. Taking health equity and social determinants of health into account contributes to the clinical and epidemiological understanding of the disease, identifying specific needs and supporting decision-making processes. Stakeholders are encouraged to consider using this guidance on observational research to help provide evidence to close the inequitable gaps in health outcomes.


Canadian Institutes Health Research (reference number 173269)

Instituto de Salud Carlos III through the “Acción Estratégicaen Salud 2013–2016/Contratos Río Hortega call 2018/CM18/00141” (Co-funded by European Social Fund 2014-2020 "Investing in your future")



The original article is available

Published Citation

Antequera A, et al. Improving social justice in COVID-19 health research: interim guidelines for reporting health equity in observational studies. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(17):9357.

Publication Date

4 September 2021

PubMed ID



  • HRB Centre for Primary Care Research
  • General Practice




  • Published Version (Version of Record)