Table 1

Appraisal scoring system summary

Generic study quality: minimisation of bias, confounding and chance
 Selection bias
  Sample comparable to source population0–3
  % Eligible population participated0–3
  Accounted for missing data0–3
 Measurement bias
  Appropriate measure of association1 or 3
  Potential confounders taken into account 0–3
  Sufficient study power0–3
Maximum possible score21
High rating cut-off>18
Low rating cut-off<15
Topical and population relevance
  Study's primary aim0–3
  Age1 or 3
Maximum possible score11
High rating cut-off>9
Low rating cut-off<5
Methodological relevance: measurement of exposure
  Choice of dimension
   Core socioeconomic circumstance dimension?0–3
   Categories generalisable across populations?0–3
   Applicable to population?0–3
   Discriminates within population?0–3
  Data collection
   Data completeness0–3
Maximum possible score15
High rating cut-off>13
Low rating cut-off<11
  • * Where scores do not range from 0, this reflects the application of review exclusion criteria (eg, studies where data on the incidence, prevalence and positivity of chlamydia were scored 0 on outcome and excluded).

  • Included measures of individual sexual behavior: condom use and/or number of partners or rate of partner change.