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Quality assessment and factor analysis of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of endoscopic ultrasound diagnosis

Danlu Liu, Jiaxin Jin, Jinhui Tian, Kehu Yang
PloS One 2015, 10 (4): e0120911
25905713

BACKGROUND: Comprehensive monitoring of the quality of systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) requires complete and accurate reporting and methodology.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the reporting and methodological quality of SRs/MAs on EUS diagnosis and to explore the potential factors influencing articles' quality.

METHODS: The quality of the reporting and methodology was evaluated in relation to the adherence of papers to the PRISMA checklist and the AMSTAR quality scale. The total scores for every criterion and for every article on the two standards were calculated. Data were evaluated and analyzed using SPSS17.0 and RevMan 5.1 in terms of publication time, category of reviews, category of journals, and funding resource.

RESULTS: A total of 72 SRs/MAs was included, but no Cochrane Systematic Reviews (CSRs) were obtained. The number of SRs/MAs ranged from 1 in 1998 to 15 in 2013; 88.1% used the QUADAS tool; the average overall scores by PRISMA statement and AMSTAR tool were 19.9 and 5.4, respectively. Scores on some items showed substantial improvement after publication of PRISMA and AMSTAR. However, no reviews followed the criterion of protocol and registration, and only 11.1% of articles fulfilled the criterion of literature search. SRs/MAs from the Science Citation Index (SCI) were of better quality than non-SCI studies. Funding resource made no difference to quality. Regression analysis showed that time of publication and inclusion in the SCI were significantly correlated with total scores on the two standards.

CONCLUSION: The reporting and methodological quality of SRs/MAs on EUS diagnosis has improved measurably since PRISMA and AMSTAR checklists released. It is hoped that CSR in this field will be produced. Literature searching and protocol criteria, as well as QUADAS-2 tool need to be addressed more in the future. Time of publication and SCI relate more to the overall quality of SRs/MAs than does funding resource.

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