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Table 4 Quality assessment of included studies

From: Educational outcomes of children in contact with social care in England: a systematic review

Criterion DfE statistical releases (ann.) [13] Sebba et al. [11] Henderson et al. [14] DfE study [12] Ellison and Hutchinson [16] O’Higgins [17] Luke and O’Higgins [18]
1. Was the study research question or objective in this paper clearly stated? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
2. Was the study population clearly specified and defined? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
3. Was the participation rate of eligible persons at least 50%? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
4. Were all the subjects selected or recruited from the same or similar populations (including the same time period)? Were inclusion and exclusion criteria for being in the study prespecified and applied uniformly to all participants? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
5. Was a sample size justification, power description, or variance and effect estimates provided? No Yes Yes No NA No Yes
6. For the analyses in this paper, were the exposure(s) of interest measured prior to the outcome(s) being measured? Yes Yes Yes Yes CD Yes Yes
7. Was the timeframe sufficient so that one could reasonably expect to see an association between exposure and outcome if it existed? CD CD CD CD NA CD CD
8. For exposures that can vary in amount or level, did the study examine different levels of the exposure as related to the outcome (e.g. categories of exposure, or exposure measured as a continuous variable)? No Yes No No No No Yes
9. Were the exposure measures (independent variables) clearly defined, valid, reliable and implemented consistently across all study participants? Yes Yes CD Yes No Yes Yes
10. Was the exposure(s) assessed more than once over time? No No Yes No CD No No
11. Were the outcome measures (dependent variables) clearly defined, valid, reliable and implemented consistently across all study participants? Yes Yes Yes Yes CD Yes Yes
12. Were the outcome assessors blinded to the exposure status of participants? Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
13. Was loss to follow-up after baseline 20% or less? NA Yes No Yes NA Yes Yes
14. Were key potential confounding variables measured and adjusted statistically for their impact on the relationship between exposure(s) and outcome(s)? No Yes Yes No No No Yes
Overall assessment Fair Good Fair Fair Poor Fair Good
  1. CD cannot determine, NA not applicable