To investigate sex and gender reporting in human and animal subjects’ research published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Objective(s) : To investigate sex and gender reporting in human and animal subjects’ research published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Data Sources : PubMed Single Citation Matcher was searched for studies published in the Archives from January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017. The journal's website was also examined to verify published articles.
Study Selection : Studies published in print in the English language on rehabilitation research involving human or animal subjects were included. Among the 451 records screened by two independent reviewers, 275 studies were included in the bibliometric analysis.
Data Extraction : Two out of ten authors performed data extraction for each study using Covidence online-platform. Data included the use of the terms ‘gender’ and ‘sex,’ reporting of gender/sex-specific information in the title and abstract, inclusion of males and female subjects, reporting of gender/sex sample characteristics, and the consideration of gender/sex in analyses.
Data Synthesis : Of the 275 articles, 55 (20%) used neither 'gender' or 'sex' terms, while the majority used 'sex' (78%), and only one study used exclusively 'gender.' Four studies included gender/sex information in the title, and 24% included gender/sex information in the abstract. The majority (98%) included gender/sex sample frequency. Seven studies included only females, and one study included only males. Of the articles including males and females, only 35% (84 out of 241) considered gender/sex in their analyses.
Conclusions : Most studies fail to consider gender/sex analyses, which adds to the difficulty in identifying gender/sex-based differences. Editorial policies should consider implementing requirements for gender/sex-based analyses.