Improving social justice in covid-19 health research: Interim guidelines for reporting health equity in observational studies

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 PetticrewGabriel Rada, Anita Rizvi, Larissa Shamseer, Melissa K. Sharp, Janice Tufte, Peter Tugwell, Francisca Verdugo-Paiva, Harry Wang, Xiaoqin Wang, Lawrence Mbuagbaw, Vivian Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9357
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Guidelines
  • Health inequities
  • Observational studies
  • Public health
  • Reporting
  • Vulnerable populations


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