[Preprint] Attrition Rate in Infant fNIRS Research: A Meta-Analysis
Updated: Feb 17
📑 Preprint: Baek, S., Marques, S., Casey, K., Testerman, M., McGill, F., & Emberson, L. (2021). Attrition Rate in Infant fNIRS Research: A Meta-Analysis. In bioRxiv (p. 2021.06.15.448526). https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.06.15.448526
Abstract: Understanding the trends and predictors of attrition rate, or the proportion of collected data that is excluded from the final analyses, is important for accurate research planning, assessing data integrity, and ensuring generalizability. In this pre-registered meta-analysis, we reviewed 182 publications in infant (0-24 months) functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) research published from 1998 to April 9, 2020 and investigated the trends and predictors of attrition. The average attrition rate was 34.23% among 272 experiments across all 182 publications. Among a subset of 136 experiments which reported the specific reasons of subject exclusion, 21.50% of the attrition were infant-driven while 14.21% were signal-driven. Subject characteristics (e.g., age) and study design (e.g., fNIRS cap configuration, block/trial design, and stimulus type) predicted the total and subject-driven attrition rates, suggesting that modifying the recruitment pool or the study design can meaningfully reduce the attrition rate in infant fNIRS research. Based on the findings, we established guidelines on reporting the attrition rate for scientific transparency and made recommendations to minimize the attrition rates. We also launched an attrition rate calculator (LINK) to aid with research planning. This research can facilitate developmental cognitive neuroscientists in their quest toward increasingly rigorous and representative research.