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Best Practices for Conducting Observational Research to Assess the Relation between Nutrition and Bone: An International Working Group Summary


Bailey, Regan L; Sahni, Shivani; Chocano-Bedoya, Patricia; Daly, Robin M; Welch, Ailsa A; Bischoff-Ferrari, Heike; Weaver, Connie M (2019). Best Practices for Conducting Observational Research to Assess the Relation between Nutrition and Bone: An International Working Group Summary. Advances in Nutrition, 10(3):391-409.

Abstract

Diet is a modifiable factor that can affect bone strength and integrity, and the risk of fractures. Currently, a hierarchy of scientific evidence contributes to our understanding of the role of diet on bone health and fracture risk. The strength of evidence is generally based on the type of study conducted, the quality of the methodology employed, the rigor and integrity of the data collected and analysis plan, and the transparency and completeness of the results. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are considered to be the gold standard from a clinical research paradigm, but there is a dearth of high-quality diet-related intervention trials with bone as the primary outcome, forcing the use of observational research to inform research and clinical practices. However, for observational research to be of the most utility, standardization and optimization of the study design, accurate and reliable measurement of key variables, and appropriate data analysis and data reporting are paramount. Although there have been recommendations made in relation to RCTs in the field of nutrition, no clear rubric exists for best practices in conducting observational research with regard to nutrition and bone health. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to describe the best practices and considerations for designing, conducting, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting observational research specifically for understanding the role of nutrition in bone health, amassed by a global panel of scientific experts with strengths in bone, nutrition epidemiology, physical activity, public health, clinical and translational trials, and observational study methods. The global panel of scientific experts represents the leadership and selected participants from the 10th annual International Symposium for the Nutritional Aspects of Osteoporosis. The topics selected and best practices presented reflect expert opinion and areas of scientific expertise of the authors rather than a systematic or comprehensive literature review or professional reporting guidelines.

Abstract

Diet is a modifiable factor that can affect bone strength and integrity, and the risk of fractures. Currently, a hierarchy of scientific evidence contributes to our understanding of the role of diet on bone health and fracture risk. The strength of evidence is generally based on the type of study conducted, the quality of the methodology employed, the rigor and integrity of the data collected and analysis plan, and the transparency and completeness of the results. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are considered to be the gold standard from a clinical research paradigm, but there is a dearth of high-quality diet-related intervention trials with bone as the primary outcome, forcing the use of observational research to inform research and clinical practices. However, for observational research to be of the most utility, standardization and optimization of the study design, accurate and reliable measurement of key variables, and appropriate data analysis and data reporting are paramount. Although there have been recommendations made in relation to RCTs in the field of nutrition, no clear rubric exists for best practices in conducting observational research with regard to nutrition and bone health. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to describe the best practices and considerations for designing, conducting, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting observational research specifically for understanding the role of nutrition in bone health, amassed by a global panel of scientific experts with strengths in bone, nutrition epidemiology, physical activity, public health, clinical and translational trials, and observational study methods. The global panel of scientific experts represents the leadership and selected participants from the 10th annual International Symposium for the Nutritional Aspects of Osteoporosis. The topics selected and best practices presented reflect expert opinion and areas of scientific expertise of the authors rather than a systematic or comprehensive literature review or professional reporting guidelines.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Geriatric Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Food Science
Health Sciences > Medicine (miscellaneous)
Health Sciences > Nutrition and Dietetics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics, Medicine (miscellaneous)
Language:English
Date:1 May 2019
Deposited On:07 Feb 2020 14:01
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 13:55
Publisher:American Society for Nutrition
ISSN:2161-8313
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmy111
PubMed ID:30926984

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