Table 1

Summary of proposed additional information to be reported for RDS studies (STROBE-RDS study reporting checklist)

Proposed additional information to be reported for RDS studies
Title and abstractIndicate the study's design (Respondent-Driven Sampling) in the title or abstract
 Study designState why RDS is considered the most appropriate sampling method
 SettingDescribe formative research methods and findings used to inform RDS study design
 ParticipantsGive the eligibility criteria, number, sources and methods of seed selection
State if additional seeds were required, and if so, when and how recruited and started
State if there was any variation in study design during data collection (eg, changing numbers of coupons per recruit, or stopping chains)
Give the eligibility criteria for subsequent recruits if it differs from seeds
Give number, types (eg, mobile/static) and location of recruitment venue(s)
Report wording of network size question(s)
 VariablesState if and how recruiter-recruit relationship was tracked
 Data sources/measurementDescribe methods to assess eligibility and reduce repeat enrolment (eg, coupon manager software, biometrics, detection of commercial exchange of coupons)
Quality checks (eg, were returned coupons actually distributed and redeemed only once?)
 Statistical methodsDescribe all statistical methods, including name and description of the analytical methods (ie, point and interval estimators) used to take account of RDS sampling strategy. Report software package/version number and settings values
Report any criteria used to support statements on whether estimator conditions or assumptions were met, for example, ‘RDS equilibrium reached’
State if seeds included in each analysis
 ParticipantsReport numbers of individuals at each stage of study, that is, final number of seeds, number examined for eligibility, number confirmed eligible, number included in study, number returned for incentive collection and (if applicable) re-interview, and number analysed
Give reasons for non-participation at each stage, including reason for coupon rejection
Report number of coupons distributed and returned
Report number of recruits by seed and number of RDS recruitment waves
 Main resultsReport unadjusted estimates and their stated precision (eg, 95% CI)
If applicable, report adjusted estimates and their stated precision (eg, 95% CI)
If adjusted estimates presented, report enough information so that the reason for the magnitude of the adjustment is clear (eg, network sizes and homophily by group)
 Other analysesReport other sensitivity analyses for example, different RDS estimators, different network size definitions
 LimitationsConsider limitations of RDS sampling method and, if used, the RDS method(s) of inference. Include comment on how representative the unadjusted sample is thought to be
  • Note: this is a summary of the full checklist. See web appendix table W1 or the Equator Network website8 for full details. Guidelines development proceeding according to Moher et al 2010.w12 Checklist adapted from STROBE guidelinesw9 checklist for cross-sectional studies.w10

  • RDS, Respondent Driven Sampling.