Visualizations throughout pharmacoepidemiology study planning, implementation, and reporting

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2022 Nov;31(11):1140-1152. doi: 10.1002/pds.5529. Epub 2022 Sep 9.


Transparency is increasingly promoted to instill trust in nonrandomized studies using real-world data. Graphics and data visualizations support transparency by aiding communication and understanding, and can inform study design and analysis decisions. However, other than graphical representation of a study design and flow diagrams (e.g., a Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials [CONSORT] like diagram), specific standards on how to maximize validity and transparency with visualization are needed. This paper provides guidance on how to use visualizations throughout the life cycle of a pharmacoepidemiology study-from initial study design to final report-to facilitate rationalized and transparent decision-making about study design and implementation, and clear communication of study findings. Our intent is to help researchers align their practices with current consensus statements on transparency.

Keywords: data visualizations; graphs; pharmacoepidemiology.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Humans
  • Pharmacoepidemiology*
  • Reference Standards
  • Research Design*
  • Research Personnel