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This article is the author's final published version in the International Journal of Surgery, Volume 109, Issue 5, May 2023, Pg. 1489 - 1496.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


BACKGROUND: Standards for reporting surgical adverse events (AEs) vary widely within the scientific literature. Failure to adequately capture AEs hinders efforts to measure the safety of healthcare delivery and improve the quality of care. The aim of the present study is to assess the prevalence and typology of perioperative AE reporting guidelines among surgery and anesthesiology journals.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In November 2021, three independent reviewers queried journal lists from the SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) portal (, a bibliometric indicator database for surgery and anesthesiology academic journals. Journal characteristics were summarized using SCImago, a bibliometric indicator database extracted from Scopus journal data. Quartile 1 (Q1) was considered the top quartile and Q4 bottom quartile based on the journal impact factor. Journal author guidelines were collected to determine whether AE reporting recommendations were included and, if so, the preferred reporting procedures.

RESULTS: Of 1409 journals queried, 655 (46.5%) recommended surgical AE reporting. Journals most likely to recommend AE reporting were: by category surgery (59.1%), urology (53.3%), and anesthesia (52.3%); in top SJR quartiles (i.e. more influential); by region, based in Western Europe (49.8%), North America (49.3%), and the Middle East (48.3%).

CONCLUSIONS: Surgery and anesthesiology journals do not consistently require or provide recommendations on perioperative AE reporting. Journal guidelines regarding AE reporting should be standardized and are needed to improve the quality of surgical AE reporting with the ultimate goal of improving patient morbidity and mortality.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.