Restrictions and their reporting in systematic reviews of effectiveness: an observational study

Ref ID 871
First Author J. Helbach
Year Of Publishing 2022
Keywords Language
Low reporting quality
Non-Cochrane reviews
Problem(s) Low reporting (PRISMA) quality
Methods not described to enable replication
Overly stringent inclusion criteria affecting external validity
Cochrane reviews more rigorous/higher quality than non-Cochrane reviews
Language restriction
Number of systematic reviews included 535
Summary of Findings From 525 systematic reviews of effectiveness randomly sampled from PubMed on 1 January 2020. Four out of every ten (41.3%) lacked information on at least one of the three restrictions considered (language, publication period, or study type). Overall, 14.6% of systematic reviews did not provide information on restrictions regarding publication period, 19.1% regarding study type, and 18.3% regarding language. Of all included systematic reviews, language was restricted in 46.4%, and in more than half of the systematic reviews with restricted language (130/248), it was unclear whether the restriction was applied during either the search or the screening process, or both.
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