Health services research is a comparatively young and broad field of inquiry concerned with optimizing the quality, accessibility and efficiency of health care. Although much has been written on how to conduct health services research, there is a dearth of material on how best to report it. This article identifies some of the special issues arising with studies that rely on secondary data sources and offers some general guidelines to authors and peer reviewers of papers reporting on this genre of health services research. It will also inform readers on what to look for when assessing reports of this nature.
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Health care services