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Systematic Reviews

What is a reporting guideline?

A reporting guideline is a simple, structured tool for health researchers to use while writing manuscripts.  It provides a minimum list of information needed to ensure a manuscript can be, for example:

  • Understood by a reader,
  • Replicated by a researcher,
  • Used by a doctor to make a clinical decision, and
  • Included in a systematic review.

Reporting guideline is defined as “A checklist, flow diagram, or structured text to guide authors in reporting a specific type of research, developed using explicit methodology.”

The UK EQUATOR Centre. EQUATOR Network. What is a reporting guideline? https://www.equator-network.org/about-us/what-is-a-reporting-guideline/

Where to find reporting guidelines for systematic review?

  1. The Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (known as MECIR Standards) present a guide to the conduct and reporting of Cochrane Intervention Reviews. For protocol standards, refer to : Standards for the reporting protocols of new Cochrane Intervention Reviews (PR1-PR44)  
  2. Methodological Expectations of Campbell Collaboration Intervention Reviews (MECCIR) guides the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews. It provides detailed methodological expectations for the reporting of Campbell Collaboration systematic reviews of intervention effects.
  3. The Synthesis Without Meta-analysis (SWiM) guideline is to guide clear reporting in reviews of interventions in which alternative synthesis methods to meta-analysis of effect estimates are used (Campbell, 2020).  
  4. More reporting guidelines can be found in EQUATOR Network (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) - an international initiative that seeks to improve the reliability and value of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting and wider use of robust reporting guidelines.

Campbell, M., McKenzie, J. E., Sowden, A., Katikireddi, S. V., Brennan, S. E., Ellis, S., Hartmann-Boyce, J., Ryan, R., Shepperd, S., Thomas, J., Welch, V., & Thomson, H. (2020). Synthesis without meta-analysis (SWiM) in systematic reviews: reporting guideline. BMJ, 368, l6890. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6890 

Standard of reporting guidelines

Titles

Discipline

PRISMA 2020 Statement  

Consists of a checklist and a flow diagram, and is intended to be accompanied by the PRISMA 2020 Explanation and Elaboration document. 

  • The choice of flow diagram depends on the type of review (new or updated) and sources used to identify studies.
  • Primarily designed to use for systematic reviews of studies that evaluate health interventions.  The checklists are applicable to report systematic reviews evaluating other non-health related interventions (for example, social or educational interventions).
  • It can be used irrespective of the study design of the included studies. 

PRISMA-P

(PRISMA for Systematic Review Protocols)

The Prisma P is an extension of the PRISMA for reporting systematic review protocols published in 2015.  It consists of 17-item checklist to address in a systematic review protocol..

PRISMA-S 

(PRISMA for Searching)

The PRISMA-S is an extension of the PRISMA Statement for reporting systematic searches for systematic review published in 2021. It consists of 16-item checklist with exemplar reporting and rationale.  

PRISMA-ScR 

(PRISMA for Scoping Reviews)

The PRISMA-ScR is systematic reviews and meta-analyses extension for scoping reviews published in 2018.   It consists of 22-item checklist to help authors report a scoping review.  

PRISMA-NMA 

(PRISMA for Network Meta-Analyses)

The PRISMA-NMA extension was published in 2015. It is a 27-item checklist to guide authors for reporting systematic reviews comparing multiple treatments using direct and indirect evidence in network meta-analyses.  

 

Reporting Standard

Description

CONSORT

CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials). CONSORT checklist is used to evaluate the quality of Randomised Clinical Trials to be included in a systematic review.

MOOSE

Meta-analysis of observational studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE)

"The proposed checklist contains specifications for reporting of meta analyses of observational studies in epidemiology, including background, search strategy, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion.

SRQR Guideline

SRQR standards aims to improve the transparency of all aspects of qualitative research by providing clear standards for reporting qualitative research.

STARD 

STARD aims to improve the accuracy and completeness of reporting of studies of diagnostic accuracy. Readers can assess the potential for bias in the study (internal validity) and to evaluate its generalisability (external validity). It consists of a checklist of 25 items and recommends the use of a flow diagram which describe the design of the study and the flow of patients.

STARLITE 

A useful reporting tool for qualitative studies.

STROBE 

STROBE ( Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology) 

STROBE provide checklist for reporting observational designs such as cohort, cross-sectional, and case–control studies.

TREND 

TREND is a 22-item checklist specifically developed to guide standardized reporting of nonrandomized controlled trials. It complements the widely adopted CONsolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement developed for randomized controlled trials.