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Guide to Statistics and Methods
Reporting Guidelines
April 7, 2021

TRIPOD Reporting Guidelines for Diagnostic and Prognostic Studies

Author Affiliations
  • 1Emory Health Services Research Center, Department of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2Department of Epidemiology, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 3Department of Emergency Medicine at Harbor-University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine
  • 4Statistical Editor, JAMA Surgery
  • 5Department of Surgery, City of Hope Medical Center, Duarte, California
JAMA Surg. 2021;156(7):675-676. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.0537

Two distinct types of statistical models are used in medical research. Etiologic models examine a potential causal association between an exposure and an outcome (typically while controlling for confounding variables). Predictive models aim to predict the individual risk of an outcome using multiple covariates that may or may not have a causal association. Both models are useful in surgery, where individualized risks can be used to inform surgeons, patients, and their families about risks of perioperative outcomes. For example, the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Surgical Risk Calculator is a widely adopted, web-based decision aid that uses estimates from a risk prediction model to inform surgeons and patients about the estimated risk of 30-day postoperative complications.1 However, not all models follow high standards before dissemination in peer-reviewed publications or incorporation into decision aids.

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