Douglas Manuel - New reporting guidelines for population health modelling studies for non-communicable diseases

  • Presenting author: Douglas Manuel (The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute)

  • Authors: Doug Manuel for the project leads Adam Briggs, Laura Webber, Oliver Mytton and the Expert Advisory Group for the development of reporting guidelines of public health NCD modelling studies

  • Session: C02B - Health [3] - Wednesday 11:00-12:30 - Marietta-Blau Hall

Our international, multidiscipline network aims to develop, disseminate and evaluate new reporting guidelines for population health modelling studies for non-communicable diseases. Modelling studies inform decision-making, and their use is growing. However, modelling studies are criticized for lack of transparency and reproducibility. The development of reporting guidelines in health research is a well-established field with over 400 published guidelines endorsed by dozens of journals and organizations. The EQUATOR Network (Enhancing the Quality and Transparency Of health Research) supports developing and disseminating reporting guidelines.

Research aim

To develop, publish and support the uptake of internationally agreed guidelines for undertaking and transparently reporting NCDs public health modelling studies to improve the quality, validity and transparency of these studies.


The development of the reporting guideline uses the methods published by the EQUATOR network. The development will follow the five-step process outlined by this network: literature review; online consensus Delphi; expert consensus meeting (face-to-face); writing of guidelines by a small committee; dissemination.


Published literature reviews did not identify existing NCD modelling reporting guidelines, but research teams and background studies were identified. Also, related guidelines, such as CHEERS for health economic modelling, ODD for agent-based modelling, GATHER for synthetic estimates of descriptive epidemiology, STRESS for strengthening the reporting of empirical simulation studies, were identified. The literature review includes studies presented at previous International Microsimulation Association meetings. An international online consultation included 61 participants from 10 countries with broad methodological and topic expertise. Participants included modellers, journal editors, as well as those with other expertise, e.g. commission or using modelling studies to inform practice. There was a strong consensus (98% support) about developing reporting guidelines for public health modelling studies. Participants commented on inconsistent and, at times, poor reporting that hindered understanding and reproduction, the need for guidelines to underpin scientific review, and an opportunity for guidelines to support comparative modelling and facilitate methodological development.