10.4 The “ROB1” generic template

10.4.1 Motivation

This template offers increased flexibility in the domains that are included in the plot. It can handle any number of domains (c.f. the other tool templates that have a set number of domains) and uses the user-defined column headings as domain titles in the resulting figures.

10.4.2 Varying numbers of domains

The “ROB1” template (tool = "ROB1") can handle varying numbers of columns. This was originally designed for use with the ROB1 assessment tool, to which frequently added or removed domains. While this template could be used to present the result of assessments performed using adjusted versions of the other tools (ROB2, QUADAS-2, ROBINS-I), we would strongly discourage authors from doing so. Authors using other published tools should use the stricter templates presented in the previous chapters to ensure they conform with the guidance.

10.4.3 Domain names

For the other tools listed in the previous sections, the names of the columns containing the domain-level risk of bias judgments are not important. For example, they are commonly named D1/D2/D3/etc. However, this is not the case when using the "ROB1" template.

Compare the column headings of the data_rob2 and the data_rob1 (presented horizontally here for ease of comparison):


ms3 <- data.frame(colnum = kkk, data_rob2 = k, data_rob1 = kk)

  ), col.names = c("No.", "Column name"),
  caption = 'Comparison of column names in the `data_rob2` (left) and `data_rob1` (right) datasets.'
Table 10.1: Comparison of column names in the data_rob2 (left) and data_rob1 (right) datasets.
No. Column name
1 Study
2 D1
3 D2
4 D3
5 D4
6 D5
7 Overall
8 Weight
9 NA
10 NA
No. Column name
1 Study
2 Random.sequence.generation.
3 Allocation.concealment.
4 Blinding.of.participants.and.personnel.
5 Blinding.of.outcome.assessment
6 Incomplete.outcome.data
7 Selective.reporting.
8 Other.sources.of.bias.
9 Overall
10 Weight

The domain columns (Columns 2-6) in the ROB2 example dataset have been given arbitrary names of D1 - D5, as they will be overwritten by the tool to correspond to the correct domain titles given by the ROB2 guidance.

In contrast, the domain columns (Columns 2-8) in the ROB1 example dataset are labelled correctly, as these will be used in the figures produced by rob_summary() and rob_traffic_light(). As an example, suppose we change the name of the “Random.sequence.generation” column to “This is a test”. In the rob_summary() figure, the title of the first bar is changed, while in the rob_traffic_light() figure, the caption is updated to reflect this change.

# Create copy of the data_rob1 dataset 
new_rob1_data <- data_rob1

# Change the column heading for the first domain
colnames(new_rob1_data)[2] <- "This is a test"

# Create the summary barplot
rob_summary(data = new_rob1_data, tool = "ROB1")

# Create the traffic light plot
rob_traffic_light(data = new_rob1_data, tool = "ROB1")