The quality of reporting of cohort studies published in the most prestigious scientific medical journals was investigated to indicate to what extent the items in the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) checklist are addressed. Six top scientific medical journals with high impact factor were selected including New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Lancet, British Medical Journal, Archive of Internal Medicine, and Canadian Medical Association Journal. Ten cohort studies published in 2010 were selected randomly from each journal. The percentage of items in the STROBE checklist that were addressed in each study was investigated. The total percentage of items addressed by these studies was 69.3 (95% confidence interval: 59.6 to 79.0). We concluded that reporting of cohort studies published in the most prestigious scientific medical journals is not clear enough yet. The reporting of other types of observational studies such as case-control and cross-sectional studies particularly those being published in less prestigious journals expected to be much more imprecise.
Keywords: Cohort studies; Observational studies; Reporting; STROBE statement.