Table 1

Criteria list for methodological quality assessment
Criteria
Study participation
A. The sampling frame and recruitment are adequately described, including period and place of recruitment.
B. Inclusion and exclusion criteria are adequately described.
C. There is adequate participation in the study by eligible individuals and sample size is sufficient. a
D. The baseline study sample (i.e., individuals entering the study) is adequately described for relevant key characteristics (at least for age and gender).
Study attrition
E. Response rate is adequate and there are no important differences between key characteristics and outcomes for participants who completed the study and those who did not (wave 1 and 2). a
F. Response rate is adequate and there are no important differences between key characteristics and outcomes for participants who completed the study and those who did not (wave 3 and follow-up). a
Predictor measurement
G. A clear definition or description of the predictor measured is provided.
H. Continuous variables are reported or appropriate (i.e., not data-dependent) cut-points are used.
I. The predictor measurement and method are adequately valid and reliable to limit misclassification bias.
Outcome measurement
J. A clear definition or description of alcohol use is provided.
K. Measuring and method of the outcome measurement is adequately valid and reliable to limit misclassification bias.
Confounding measurement
L. Confounders are accounted for in the study design (matching for key variables, stratification, or initial assembly of comparable groups) or in the analysis.
Analysis
M. There is sufficient presentation of data.
N. The strategy for model building (i.e., inclusion of variables) is appropriate and is based on a conceptual framework or model.
O. The selected model is adequate for the design of the study.
P. There is no selective reporting of results.

a An adequate participation or response rate was defined as > 80%, or as 60-80% and non-participation or non-response not selective.

Visser et al.

Visser et al. BMC Public Health 2012 12:886   doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-886

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