New Guidelines Address Quality of Systematic Reviews

PRISMA Statement includes a checklist and flow diagram
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Updated guidelines have been developed to help authors improve the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, according to an article published online July 21 in PLoS Medicine.

David Moher, Ph.D., from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and colleagues updated the previous QUOROM (QUality Of Reporting Of Meta-analyses) Statement developed in 1996 and published in 1999, and developed the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) Statement.

The PRISMA Statement consists of a 27-item checklist, which includes items determined to be essential for transparent reporting of a systematic review. The authors note that the accompanying Explanation and Elaboration document has an explanation of the meaning and rationale for each checklist item, an example of good reporting, and references when possible. The Statement also includes a four-phase flow diagram going through the different phases of producing a systematic review.

"The overall aim of PRISMA is to help ensure the clarity and transparency of reporting of systematic reviews, and recent data indicate that this reporting guidance is much needed," Moher and colleagues write. "However, the PRISMA checklist is not a quality assessment instrument to gauge the quality of a systematic review."

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