Scope for improvement in the quality of reporting of systematic reviews. From the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group

EMGO Institute, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The Journal of Rheumatology (Impact Factor: 3.19). 02/2006; 33(1):9-15.
Source: PubMed


To assess the quality of reporting in Cochrane musculoskeletal systematic reviews (excluding back and injury reviews).
This study assessed all the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group's systematic reviews from Issue 4, 2002, of the Cochrane Library Database of Systematic Reviews. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed quality. Two assessment tools were used, including an 18 item checklist and flow chart developed by the Quality of Reporting of Meta-analysis (QUOROM) consensus group, and a 10 item scale, the Oxman-Guyatt Overview Quality Assessment Questionnaire (OQAQ). One question on the latter scale (item 10) scores overall quality on a 7 point scale, with high scores indicating superior quality. Data were analyzed using univariate approaches.
The 57 systematic reviews assessed were found to have good overall quality, with scores on individual items revealing only minor flaws. Documenting the flow of included and excluded studies and summarizing the results are 2 areas needing improvement in reporting. According to the Oxman-Guyatt scale the overall scientific quality of the Cochrane musculoskeletal reviews was good [mean 5.02 (95% CI 3.71-6.32)].
Our study found that the reporting quality of Cochrane musculoskeletal systematic reviews was generally good, although there was room for improvement. For example, it might be feasible to develop specific guidelines for reporting protocols. Certainly more work is needed in reporting search results, documentation of the flow of studies, identification of the type of studies, and summarization of the key findings.

Download full-text


Available from: Lex Bouter, Jul 05, 2014
32 Reads
  • Source
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Good systematic reviews/meta-analyses are important sources of information for clinicians, patients, government officials, and other decision makers. Now, there is an increasing number of systematic reviews/meta-analysis of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Thus, it is necessary to assess the quality of these reviews. To assess the methodology and reporting quality of systematic reviews/meta-analyses of TCM published in paper-based journals in China. A comprehensive search of the literature was performed to identify the maximum possible number of reviews on the prevention and cure researches in TCM. Two assessors (Junhua and Hongcai) independently extracted data and put them into a Microsoft Access database for analysis. Two assessment tools were used: (1) the Oxman-Guyatt Overview Quality Assessment Questionnaire (OQAQ); and (2) the Quality of Reporting of Meta analysis (QUOROM). One hundred and seven papers (107) were identified: 71 reviews called "systematic reviews" and 36 called "meta-analyses." More than half of all the reviews had methodological and reporting flaws that could have influenced the reviews' validity. The deficiencies were mainly in literature searches, characteristics of included and excluded studies reported, primary trials' quality assessment, and data merging. The methodology and reporting quality are poor in both systematic reviews and meta-analysis reviews of TCM published in paper-based journals in China. We should respect the need for high-quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and do these according to specification.
    The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 11/2007; 13(8):797-805. DOI:10.1089/acm.2007.7195 · 1.59 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Whilst exercise is recommended for optimum bone health in adult women, there are few systematic reviews of the efficacy of walking as singular exercise therapy for postmenopausal bone loss. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of prescribed walking programmes on bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip and spine in postmenopausal women and to determine if effects are modified by variations in protocol design. We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised (RCTs) and non-randomised controlled trials. Electronic bibliographic databases, key journals and reference lists of reviews and articles were searched to identify studies for inclusion. Randomised and non-randomised controlled trials assessing the effects of walking on lumbar spine, femoral neck and total hip BMD, measured by radiographic techniques, among sedentary postmenopausal women were eligible for inclusion. Two independent reviewers assessed studies for eligibility. Reported absolute BMD outcomes were combined in the analysis. Weighted mean differences (WMD) were calculated using a fixed and random-effects models. Heterogeneity among trials was examined using the Q statistic and I2 methods. Potential publication bias was assessed through funnel plot inspection. Assessment of trial quality was also performed using the widely used instrument devised by Jadad et al. [Jadad AR, Moore RA, Carroll D, Jenkinson C, Reynolds DJM, Gavaghan DJ, et al. Assessing the quality of reports of randomized clinical trials: Is blinding necessary? Cont Clin Trials 1996; 17:1–12].
    Bone 06/2008; 43(3):521-31. DOI:10.1016/j.bone.2008.05.012 · 3.97 Impact Factor
Show more