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Table 2 Modified Downs and Black critical appraisal checklist applied to observational studies (adapted from Downs and Black [42])

From: The Relationship Between Physical Fitness Qualities and Sport-Specific Technical Skills in Female, Team-Based Ball Players: A Systematic Review

Item #Question
1Is the hypothesis/aim/objective of the study clearly described?
2Are the main outcomes to be measured clearly described in the introduction or methods section?
3Are the characteristics of the participants included in the study clearly described?
5Are the distributions of principal confounders clearly described?
6Are the main findings of the study clearly described?
7Does the study provide estimates of the random variability in the data for the main outcome?
9aHave the characteristics of patients lost to follow-up been described or did the study have any participant losses?
10Have actual probability values been reported for the main outcomes, except where the probability value is < 0.001?
11Were the subjects asked to participate in the study representative of the entire population from which they were recruited?
12Were those subjects who were prepared to participate representative of the entire population from which they were recruited?
13aWere the staff, places, and facilities where the participants were treated or where the testing was performed representative of the exams/treatment the majority would receive?
16If any of the results of the study were based on ‘data dredging’ (i.e. ‘data fishing’), was this made clear?
17In trials and cohort studies, did the analyses adjust for different lengths of follow-up of participants, or in case-control studies, was the time period between the intervention and the outcome the same for cases and controls?
18Were the statistical tests used to assess the main outcomes appropriate?
20Were the main outcome measures used accurate (valid and reliable)?
21Were the participants in different intervention groups (trials and cohort studies) or were the cases and controls (case-control studies) recruited from the same population?
22aWere study subjects recruited over the same period of time?
25Was there adequate adjustment for confounding in the analyses from which the main findings were drawn (e.g. the distribution of known confounders that differed between groups was taken into account in the analysis)?
26Were losses of patients to follow-up taken into account?
27Did the study have sufficient power to detect a clinically important effect where the probability value for a difference being due to chance was less than 5%?
  1. Scoring criteria [42]: items 1–3, 6, 7, 9–13, 16–18, 20–22, 25–27: yes = 1, unable to determine/no = 0; item 5: yes = 2, partially = 1, no = 0
  2. aIndicates item number was modified