Room for improvement? A survey of the methods used in systematic reviews of adverse effects

Ref ID 432
First Author S. Golder
Year Of Publishing 2006
Keywords Harms
Risk of bias
Sponsorship bias
Low reporting quality
Problem(s) No quality assessment undertaken or reported
Reliance on randomised controlled trials for harms / safety data
Search strategy not provided
Conflict of interest statement or disclosures for review authors missing
Financial conflicts of interest of review authors
Number of systematic reviews included 256
Summary of Findings 48% of included reviews provided information on the source of funding. Very few (5%) provided sufficient information to reproduce the literature search. Of the reviews that did report financial support 85 were independent sources, 32 could represent a conflict of interest (largely a drug manufacturer), and 6 said they received no financial support. 63% of reviews sought to include studies that compared the intervention with a control, and 28% of reviews limited themselves to data from randomised controlled trials. Less than half (41%) of the reviews specified assessment of the quality of the included studies in the methods section, or alluded to it by describing in the methods data extraction that included indicators of study quality.
Did the article find that the problem(s) led to qualitative changes in interpretation of the results? Not Applicable
Are the methods of the article described in enough detail to replicate the study? Yes