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Original Investigation
Mar/Apr 2016

Compliance of Systematic Reviews in Plastic Surgery With the PRISMA Statement

Author Affiliations
  • 1Faculty of Medicine, Southampton Medical School, Southampton, England
  • 2Guy’s Kings and St Thomas’ School of Medical Education, London, England
  • 3University College London, London, England
  • 4Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, England
  • 5Bart’s and The London School of Medicine, London, England
  • 6Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Balliol College, University of Oxford, Oxford, England
  • 7Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2016;18(2):101-105. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2015.1726

Importance  Systematic reviews attempt to answer research questions by synthesizing the data in primary articles. They are an increasingly important tool within evidence-based medicine, guiding clinical practice, future research, and health care policy.

Objective  To determine the reporting quality of recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses in plastic surgery with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement.

Methods  MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for systematic reviews published between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2014, in 5 major plastic surgery journals. Screening, identification, and data extraction were performed independently by 2 teams. Articles were reviewed for compliance with reporting of 27 items in the PRISMA checklist. Data analysis was conducted from January 1 to July 30, 2015.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The sum of PRISMA checklist items (1-27) per systematic review.

Results  From an initial set of 163 articles, 79 met the inclusion criteria. The median PRISMA score was 16 of 27 items (59%) (range, 6%-26%; 95% CI, 14%-17%). Compliance varied between individual PRISMA items. It was poorest for items related to the use of review protocol (item 5; 4 articles [5%]) and presentation of data on the risk of bias of each study (item 19; 14 articles [18%]). Compliance was the highest for description of rationale (item 3; 78 articles [99%]), sources of funding and other support (item 27; 75 articles [95%]), and inclusion of a structured summary in the abstract (item 2; 75 articles [95%]).

Conclusions and Relevance  The reporting quality of systematic reviews in plastic surgery requires improvement. Enforcement of compliance through journal submission systems, as well as improved education, awareness, and a cohesive strategy among all stakeholders, is called for.

Level of Evidence  NA.