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Table 5 Challenges and recommendations

From: A nationwide study on reproductive function, ovarian reserve, and risk of premature menopause in female survivors of childhood cancer: design and methodological challenges

  Challenge Recommendations
Study population Dealing with participation bias • Keep non-response or loss to follow-up to a minimum
  • Responders and non-responders • Characterize non-responders or those lost to follow-up
  • articipants and non-participants • Control for extent and direction of bias in final data analysis
  • Different types of participants  
  • Participants lost to follow-up for the clinical assessment Finding an adequately sized and well-matched control group • In case the number of controls is insufficient: incorporate other types of control subjects
   • Choose types of controls that are representative of the study population
   • Characterize and control for differences between survivors and controls
   • Compare self-reported data with an more objective source, such as medical records or registries
Data collection Validating instruments for data collection • Conduct reliability studies to account for inter- and intra- observer variation
   • If possible, use data collection instruments that allow for one investigator to analyse collected data (observer bias)