This study reviewed the completeness of reporting in Indian qualitative public health research (QPHR) studies using the ‘Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research’ (COREQ) checklist.
Search results from five electronic databases were screened by two independent reviewers. We included English-language, primary QPHR studies from India, which were assessed for their compliance with the COREQ checklist. Each COREQ item was noted as either reported or unreported. Descriptive statistics for the number of COREQ items reported by each study, and the number of studies that reported each COREQ item were reported, as were the items reported in each year, and in pre- and post-COREQ time periods.
Of 537 citations, 246 articles were included. Trends demonstrated an increasing number of Indian QPHR studies being published annually, and an overall increase in reporting completeness since 1997. Only two COREQ items were reported in all studies. 52.4% of articles reported between 16 and 21 items, corresponding to 43–57% of items being reported. Six items were reported in fewer than 10% of studies. COREQ domain 1 was least frequently reported.
Despite improving trends, the reporting of QPHR in India is incomplete. Authors and journals should ensure adherence to reporting guidelines.