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Table 3 Common methodological flaws of included studies (n = 20)

From: Evaluating antenatal breastmilk expression outcomes: a scoping review

• Research question or study outcomes related to aBME not well-defined
• Incomplete description of study procedures preventing reproducibility (target population, inclusion/exclusion criteria, exposures/interventions, outcomes)
• Limited description of the aBME protocol and supports provided to study participants
• Limited information on the collection of colostrum from aBME, its use postpartum, and impact on the study outcomes
• Inadequate or incomplete measures of lactational and breastfeeding outcomes
• Limited information on participant retention and loss-to-follow-up, and comparative data between the final study sample and non-respondents/those lost during the course of the study
• Lack of comprehensive baseline data on study participants
• Limited collection or presentation of data on patterns of exclusive and mixed breastfeeding, pumping and infant formula supplementation, and little information on the reasons for infant formula supplementation (in-hospital or after discharge)
• For randomized trials, limited description of randomization, allocation and blinding procedures
• For quantitative studies, lack of pre-sample size calculations or power considerations
• For quantitative studies, inappropriate matching of comparisons groups, or insufficient description of the matching criteria
• For quantitative studies, not accounting for, or reporting on, participant compliance to the study intervention
• For qualitative studies, limited information on the validity of the data collection tools, theoretical frameworks applied to guide study design or data analysis
• For mixed methods studies, rationale for using a mixed-methods design was infrequently provided and there was limited integration of qualitative and quantitative findings
• Not accounting for confounding variables or mediating factors (e.g. parity, obesity, breastfeeding history in previous pregnancies, socioeconomic status and breastfeeding supports received)
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