Methodology: Review Process - NCS Dietary Assessment Literature Review

Three Westat master's level registered dietitians reviewed over 3,000 citations in the Reference Manager database. The citation review process included:

  1. Reading the title and abstract of each citation and reviewing the key word list;
  2. Scanning the abstract for methods/tools used to assess dietary or food intake, food intake patterns, supplement intake or food-born pesticide exposure in pregnant/lactating women or in children ages 0-18;
  3. Passing or failing the citation based on the citation relevancy criteria and recording either P (pass), F (fail) or UD (undecided) in User Defined Field 31;
  4. Completing other User Defined Fields in the Reference Manager database on all passed citations.
  5. Failing articles on adult populations even if the article used one or more biological markers as the validation standard, but documenting information in the User Defined Fields.

Citations that the Westat reviewers felt did not clearly meet all pass or fail criteria were marked UD (undecided). UD citations and abstracts were sent to investigators for independent review. The relevancy criteria were modified and adjusted in consultation with investigators as the review process progressed. For example, a decision was made to exclude eating disorder studies that collected diet and supplement data. Citations reviewed before this decision may have been passed and the article ordered. These citations were retroactively failed during the article review process.

Full article review

The full article of all citations passing the initial screen was obtained and reviewed. Project staff designed a basic ACCESS database to manage the full article review process. Key information from each full article validating a dietary assessment method in one of the target age groups was entered into the ACCESS database. In addition, information from full articles describing dietary assessment methods or approaches which may be of relevance to the NCS also was included in the ACCESS database. The database contains a customized report for each age category to enable printing of a one-sheet summary of the information in the database by citation or age group.