A new tool for the design and authorship of One Health studies is available to researchers after publication in the journal One Health. One Health is a growing discipline that looks at the linkages between the health of people, animals, and the changing ecosystems we share.
Researchers say that as the literature has expanded, they’ve noted a lack of consensus on criteria for a well-designed study in this interdisciplinary field. To address gaps and guide future scholarship, they’ve created a Checklist for One Health Epidemiological Reporting of Evidence (COHERE) standards. The aims are to improve the quality of reporting of observational or interventional epidemiology studies that integrate data from humans, animals and/or vectors, and their environments, while promoting the concept that One Health studies should collect and integrate data from these three domains.
The checklist was led by Dr. Meghan Davis, assistant professor of environmental health and engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, director of the University of Washington’s Center for One Health Research in the School of Public Health.
“The COHERE guidelines represent a major attempt to encourage the highest standards and rigor of epidemiological studies of emerging diseases and other health problems at the human-animal-ecosystem interface,” said Dr. Rabinowitz, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, family medicine and global health. “In particular, they encourage the inclusion of environmental health considerations and family considerations into studies looking at human and animal health. This is crucial given the major environmental threats to our planet, and the fact that strategies for healthy sustainability need to consider the health of all species as well as the ecological support systems upon which life depends.”
The Checklist for One Health Epidemiological Reporting of Evidence was designed in the style of the widely used research tool STROBE (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology). The authorship team of COHERE includes both well-established and rising One Health researchers from multiple disciplines.
Inclusion of many experts in the process has resulted in a robust and unique tool that many believe has been greatly needed, according to Dr. Rabinowitz. The authors intend the checklist to be a living document that can be revised as needed, and they encourage users of the tool to provide feedback.Johns Hopkins, Washington