Inclusion of Sex and Gender in Emergency Medicine Research—A 2018 Update

Basmah Safdar, Kimberly E. Ona Ayala, Syed Shayan Ali, Benjamin J. Seifer, Michelle Hong, Marna Rayl Greenberg, Esther K. Choo, Alyson J. McGregor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objectives were to 1) evaluate the inclusion of sex and gender in publications by emergency medicine (EM) researchers following the 2014 federal mandate and an Academic Emergency Medicine consensus conference on sex- and gender-based research and 2) assess trends compared with 2011 status report that showed 29% studies used sex and gender in the study design and 2% reported it as a primary outcome. Methods: Using MEDLINE, the term “emergency” was used to identify all English-language studies of adult humans published between 2014 and 2017 as EM affiliated (i.e., the first, second, or last author belonged to an EM section, division, center, or institution functioning as emergency department). Four trained abstractors reviewed the data using a standardized data abstraction form. Results: The search revealed 6,442 articles using the selected “emergency” terms, and 2,628 original studies coded as EM-affiliated publications were reviewed, 2,340 met inclusion criteria, and 2,336 were analyzed. This compared to 750 articles reviewed in 2011 using similar search strategy. The adjusted inter-rater reliability for data abstraction was 97% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 95.4%–98.6%]. The leading study areas contributing the most articles were cardiovascular (17.5%), administration/crowding (15.8%), infectious diseases (9.2%), trauma/injury (9.2%), emergency medical services (6.1%), and pulmonary (6.1%). Eighty-six percent (n = 1,921) reported the sex/gender composition of the sample and 0.4% (n = 8) reported transgender identity. Thirty-four percent used sex/gender in the study design, with 27% (n = 609) reporting it as a control variable, 24% (n = 543) as an independent variable, and 2% using sex/gender as primary outcome. Studies funded by federal sources were significantly more likely to include sex/gender in the study design than other sources of funding (odds ratio = 1.77; 95% CI = 1.4–2.2). Conclusions: Compared to 2011, we noted an increase in the number of EM scholarship and use of sex and gender in study design, yet the proportion evaluating it as a primary outcome remained unchanged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-302
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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