Ebola Virus Disease has persisted as a rare; and deadly illness that has causing socioeconomic disruptions worldwide; due to a fatality rate ranging from 25% to 90% in previous outbreaks; But outbreaks like these are commonly reporting as descriptive observational studies which include case reports; surveillance, and cross-sectional studies to evaluate infection control interventions.
A movement towards better reporting standards began in the 1990’s with the development of evidence based medicine; due to the recognition that inadequate reporting potentially leads to ineffective healthcare policies and/or treatments; putting patients at risk of adverse effects; epidemic in Africa severely impacting Guinea; Sierra Leone and Liberia and was 11 times larger than all of the past outbreaks combining.
Ebola outbreak in Africa
Numerous studies have demonstrated that many affected countries were ill equipping to handle the magnitude of the 2014 epidemic because they lacked the clinical capacity and resources; inadequate funds were invested into the public health system; and surveillance systems were poorly governed.
But the main finding from this study was that of the 69 articles assessing; the reports on average met only a modest number of criteria (66%) within the Modified STROBE assessment tool. The total Modified score out of 30 points ranged from 11 to 26. Study also finding in the multivariable analysis that peer reviewing articles were associating with a significantly higher Modifying STROBE score in comparison to epidemiological reports.
One strength of this study is that the reliability and validity test indicating; that the Modified STROBE assessment tool was an appropriate instrument to measure the quality of reporting outbreaks. The Cronbach’s alpha test was finding to be 0.771, which is within the acceptable range of 0.70–0.90 as demonstrated by various studies.
But the adaption of the Modified STROBE checklist to this program could enhance sound infection control policies; leading to better reporting outcomes in the future. Several systematic reviews have documented the positive impacts reporting guidelines have had on quality of reporting; demonstrating the potential effects of the Modified STROBE checklist Therefore, better adherence to the Modified STROBE would increase clarity to research findings; facilitate evidence-informed planning towards future outbreak management; and ultimately aid in the synthesis of policy and practice.