Causal language use in systematic reviews of observational studies is often inconsistent with intent: a systematic survey

Ref ID 869
First Author M.A. Han
Year Of Publishing 2022
Keywords Observational studies
Non-Cochrane reviews
Problem(s) Low reporting or methodological quality (OTHER GUIDANCE)
Incorrect interpretation or statistical inference error from meta-analysis
Number of systematic reviews included 199
Summary of Findings From 199 included reviews of observational studies randomly selected from those indexed in EMBASE, MEDLINE, and Epistemonikos in 2019. 56.8% had causal intent. Systematic reviews with causal intent were more likely to investigate therapeutic clinical intervention (33.6% vs. 12.8%). Although 78.8% of those with causal intent used causal language in one or more sections of the title, abstract, or main text, only 4.4% consistently used causal language throughout the manuscript, and 21.2% did not use causal language at all.
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