Comparison of methodological quality rating of systematic reviews on neuropathic pain using AMSTAR and R-AMSTAR.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Systematic reviews (SRs) in the field of neuropathic pain (NeuP) are increasingly important for decision-making. However, methodological flaws in SRs can reduce the validity of conclusions. Hence, it is important to assess the methodological quality of NeuP SRs critically. Additionally, it remains unclear which assessment tool should be used. We studied the methodological quality of SRs published in the field of NeuP and compared two assessment tools. METHODS:We systematically searched 5 electronic databases to identify SRs of randomized controlled trials of interventions for NeuP available up to March 2015. Two independent reviewers assessed the methodological quality of the studies using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) and the revised AMSTAR (R-AMSTAR) tools. The scores were converted to percentiles and ranked into 4 grades to allow comparison between the two checklists. Gwet's AC1 coefficient was used for interrater reliability assessment. RESULTS:The 97 included SRs had a wide range of methodological quality scores (AMSTAR median (IQR): 6 (5-8) vs. R-AMSTAR median (IQR): 30 (26-35)). The overall agreement score between the 2 raters was 0.62 (95% CI 0.39-0.86) for AMSTAR and 0.62 (95% CI 0.53-0.70) for R-AMSTAR. The 31 Cochrane systematic reviews (CSRs) were consistently ranked higher than the 66 non-Cochrane systematic reviews (NCSRs). The analysis of individual domains showed the best compliance in a comprehensive literature search (item 3) on both checklists. The results for the domain that was the least compliant differed: conflict of interest (item 11) was the item most poorly reported on AMSTAR vs. publication bias assessment (item 10) on R-AMSTAR. A high positive correlation between the total AMSTAR and R-AMSTAR scores for all SRs, as well as for CSRs and NCSRs, was observed. CONCLUSIONS:The methodological quality of analyzed SRs in the field of NeuP was not optimal, and CSRs had a higher quality than NCSRs. Both AMSTAR and R-AMSTAR tools produced comparable quality ratings. Our results point out to weaknesses in the methodology of existing SRs on interventions for the management NeuP and call for future improvement by better adherence to analyzed quality checklists, either AMSTAR or R-AMSTAR.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Increasing numbers of systematic reviews (SRs) on total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA) have been published in recent years, but their quality has been unclear. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the methodological quality of SRs on TKA and THA. METHODS:We searched Ovid-Medline, Ovid-Embase, Cochrane Databases (including HTA, DARE, and CDSR), CBM, CNKI, Wang Fang, and VIP, from January 2014 to December 2015 for THA and TKA. The quality of SRs was assessed using the modified 25-item "Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews" (mod-AMSTAR) tool, which was based on the AMSTAR scale. A T-test, nonparametric test, and linear regression were conducted to assess the relationship between bibliographical characteristics and methodological quality. RESULTS:Sixty-three SRs were included, from which the majority of SRs (50, 79.4%) were conducted in Asia. Only 4 reviews were rated as high quality, and most were weak in providing a priori design (6, 9.5%), not limiting the publication type (8, 13%), providing an excluded primary studies list (4, 6.3%) and reporting support for the included primary studies (1, 1.6%). Reviews published in English journals performed better than did Chinese journals in duplicate data extraction (81.3% vs 46.7%, p =?0.017; 70.8% vs 33.3%, p =?0.009) and providing source of support for the SR (87.5% vs 33.3%, P <?0.001). Reviews published in journals with a higher impact factor were associated with a higher mod-AMSTAR score (regression coefficient: 0.38, 95%CI: 0.11-0.65; P =?0.006). CONCLUSION:The methodological quality of the included SRs is far from satisfactory. Authors of SRs should conform to the recommendations outlined in the mod-AMSTAR items. Areas needing improvement were providing a priori design, not limiting the publication type, providing an excluded primary studies list, and reporting conflicts of interest.
Project description:Comprehensive monitoring of the quality of systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) requires complete and accurate reporting and methodology.To assess the reporting and methodological quality of SRs/MAs on EUS diagnosis and to explore the potential factors influencing articles' quality.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.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.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.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Overviews of reviews (overviews) compile information from multiple systematic reviews (SRs) to provide a single synthesis of relevant evidence for decision-making. It is recommended that authors assess and report the methodological quality of SRs in overviews-for example, using A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews (AMSTAR). Currently, there is variation in whether and how overview authors assess and report SR quality, and limited guidance is available. Our objectives were to: examine methodological considerations involved in using AMSTAR to assess the quality of Cochrane and non-Cochrane SRs in overviews of healthcare interventions; identify challenges (and develop potential decision rules) when using AMSTAR in overviews; and examine the potential impact of considering methodological quality when making inclusion decisions in overviews.<h4>Methods</h4>We selected seven overviews of healthcare interventions and included all SRs meeting each overview's inclusion criteria. For each SR, two reviewers independently conducted AMSTAR assessments with consensus and discussed challenges encountered. We also examined the correlation between AMSTAR assessments and SR results/conclusions.<h4>Results</h4>Ninety-five SRs were included (30 Cochrane, 65 non-Cochrane). Mean AMSTAR assessments (9.6/11 vs. 5.5/11; p?<?0.001) and inter-rater reliability (AC1 statistic: 0.84 vs. 0.69; "almost perfect" vs. "substantial" using the Landis & Koch criteria) were higher for Cochrane compared to non-Cochrane SRs. Four challenges were identified when applying AMSTAR in overviews: the scope of the SRs and overviews often differed; SRs examining similar topics sometimes made different methodological decisions; reporting of non-Cochrane SRs was sometimes poor; and some non-Cochrane SRs included other SRs as well as primary studies. Decision rules were developed to address each challenge. We found no evidence that AMSTAR assessments were correlated with SR results/conclusions.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Results indicate that the AMSTAR tool can be used successfully in overviews that include Cochrane and non-Cochrane SRs, though decision rules may be useful to circumvent common challenges. Findings support existing recommendations that quality assessments of SRs in overviews be conducted independently, in duplicate, with a process for consensus. Results also suggest that using methodological quality to guide inclusion decisions (e.g., to exclude poorly conducted and reported SRs) may not introduce bias into the overview process.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgeries worldwide. Therefore, it is imperative to have evidence with high methodological quality to guide clinical decision making.<h4>Objectives</h4>To evaluate the methodological quality of the systematic reviews (SRs) focused on breast augmentation.<h4>Methods</h4>A comprehensive search of MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews was performed. SRs that have a particular focus on breast augmentation and were published in the top 15 plastic and reconstructive surgery journals were included. Quality assessment was performed using a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews (AMSTAR). Study characteristics were extracted including journal and impact factor, year of publication, country affiliation of the corresponding author, reporting adherence to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, number of citations, and number of studies included.<h4>Results</h4>Among the 22 studies included for analysis, the mean AMSTAR score was moderate (5.55), with no SR achieving good quality (AMSTAR score of ≥9). There were no significant associations between AMSTAR score and journal impact factor, number of citations, year of publication, or number of included studies. Studies that reported adherence to PRISMA guidelines on average scored higher on the AMSTAR tool (<i>P</i> = 0.03).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The methodological quality of reviews about breast augmentation was found to be moderate, with no significant increase in studies or quality over time. Adherence to PRISMA guidelines and increased appraisal of SRs about breast augmentation using methodological assessment tools would further strengthen methodological quality and confidence in study findings.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Systematic Reviews (SRs) can build the groundwork for evidence-based health care decision-making. A sound methodological quality of SRs is crucial. AMSTAR (A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews) is a widely used tool developed to assess the methodological quality of SRs of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Research shows that AMSTAR seems to be valid and reliable in terms of interrater reliability (IRR), but the test retest reliability (TRR) of AMSTAR has never been investigated. In our study we investigated the TRR of AMSTAR to evaluate the importance of its measurement and contribute to the discussion of the measurement properties of AMSTAR and other quality assessment tools.<h4>Methods</h4>Seven raters at three institutions independently assessed the methodological quality of SRs in the field of occupational health with AMSTAR. Between the first and second ratings was a timespan of approximately two years. Answers were dichotomized, and we calculated the TRR of all raters and AMSTAR items using Gwet's AC1 coefficient. To investigate the impact of variation in the ratings over time, we obtained summary scores for each review.<h4>Results</h4>AMSTAR item 4 (Was the status of publication used as an inclusion criterion?) provided the lowest median TRR of 0.53 (moderate agreement). Perfect agreement of all reviewers was detected for AMSTAR-item 1 with a Gwet's AC1 of 1, which represented perfect agreement. The median TRR of the single raters varied between 0.69 (substantial agreement) and 0.89 (almost perfect agreement). Variation of two or more points in yes-scored AMSTAR items was observed in 65% (73/112) of all assessments.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The high variation between the first and second AMSTAR ratings suggests that consideration of the TRR is important when evaluating the psychometric properties of AMSTAR.. However, more evidence is needed to investigate this neglected issue of measurement properties. Our results may initiate discussion of the importance of considering the TRR of assessment tools. A further examination of the TRR of AMSTAR, as well as other recently established rating tools such as AMSTAR 2 and ROBIS (Risk Of Bias In Systematic reviews), would be useful.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Systematic reviews (SRs) of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) can provide the best evidence to inform decision-making, but their methodological and reporting quality varies. Tools exist to guide the critical appraisal of quality and risk of bias in SRs, but evaluations of their measurement properties are limited. We will investigate the interrater reliability (IRR), usability, and applicability of A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews (AMSTAR), AMSTAR 2, and Risk Of Bias In Systematic reviews (ROBIS) for SRs in the fields of biomedicine and public health. METHODS:An international team of researchers at three collaborating centres will undertake the study. We will use a random sample of 30 SRs of RCTs investigating therapeutic interventions indexed in MEDLINE in February 2014. Two reviewers at each centre will appraise the quality and risk of bias in each SR using AMSTAR, AMSTAR 2, and ROBIS. We will record the time to complete each assessment and for the two reviewers to reach consensus for each SR. We will extract the descriptive characteristics of each SR, the included studies, participants, interventions, and comparators. We will also extract the direction and strength of the results and conclusions for the primary outcome. We will summarise the descriptive characteristics of the SRs using means and standard deviations, or frequencies and proportions. To test for interrater reliability between reviewers and between the consensus agreements of reviewer pairs, we will use Gwet's AC1 statistic. For comparability to previous evaluations, we will also calculate weighted Cohen's kappa and Fleiss' kappa statistics. To estimate usability, we will calculate the mean time to complete the appraisal and to reach consensus for each tool. To inform applications of the tools, we will test for statistical associations between quality scores and risk of bias judgments, and the results and conclusions of the SRs. DISCUSSION:Appraising the methodological and reporting quality of SRs is necessary to determine the trustworthiness of their conclusions. Which tool may be most reliably applied and how the appraisals should be used is uncertain; the usability of newly developed tools is unknown. This investigation of common (AMSTAR) and newly developed (AMSTAR 2, ROBIS) tools will provide empiric data to inform their application, interpretation, and refinement.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Our objective was to develop an instrument to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews, building upon previous tools, empirical evidence and expert consensus.<h4>Methods</h4>A 37-item assessment tool was formed by combining 1) the enhanced Overview Quality Assessment Questionnaire (OQAQ), 2) a checklist created by Sacks, and 3) three additional items recently judged to be of methodological importance. This tool was applied to 99 paper-based and 52 electronic systematic reviews. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify underlying components. The results were considered by methodological experts using a nominal group technique aimed at item reduction and design of an assessment tool with face and content validity.<h4>Results</h4>The factor analysis identified 11 components. From each component, one item was selected by the nominal group. The resulting instrument was judged to have face and content validity.<h4>Conclusion</h4>A measurement tool for the 'assessment of multiple systematic reviews' (AMSTAR) was developed. The tool consists of 11 items and has good face and content validity for measuring the methodological quality of systematic reviews. Additional studies are needed with a focus on the reproducibility and construct validity of AMSTAR, before strong recommendations can be made on its use.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Systematic reviews (SRs) of TCM have become increasingly popular in China and have been published in large numbers. This review provides the first examination of epidemiological characteristics of these SRs as well as compliance with the PRISMA and AMSTAR guidelines. OBJECTIVES: To examine epidemiological and reporting characteristics as well as methodological quality of SRs of TCM published in Chinese journals. METHODS: Four Chinese databases were searched (CBM, CSJD, CJFD and Wanfang Database) for SRs of TCM, from inception through Dec 2009. Data were extracted into Excel spreadsheets. The PRISMA and AMSTAR checklists were used to assess reporting characteristics and methodological quality, respectively. RESULTS: A total of 369 SRs were identified, most (97.6%) of which used the terms systematic review or meta-analysis in the title. None of the reviews had been updated. Half (49.8%) were written by clinicians and nearly half (47.7%) were reported in specialty journals. The impact factors of 45.8% of the journals published in were zero. The most commonly treated conditions were diseases of the circulatory and digestive disease. Funding sources were not reported for any reviews. Most (68.8%) reported information about quality assessment, while less than half (43.6%) reported assessing for publication bias. Statistical mistakes appeared in one-third (29.3%) of reviews and most (91.9%) did not report on conflict of interest. CONCLUSIONS: While many SRs of TCM interventions have been published in Chinese journals, the quality of these reviews is troubling. As a potential key source of information for clinicians and researchers, not only were many of these reviews incomplete, some contained mistakes or were misleading. Focusing on improving the quality of SRs of TCM, rather than continuing to publish them in great quantity, is urgently needed in order to increase the value of these studies.
Project description:Background:Several standards have been developed to assess methodological quality of systematic reviews (SR). One widely used tool is the AMSTAR. A recent update - AMSTAR 2 - is a 16 item evaluation tool that enables a detailed assessment of SR that include randomised (RCT) or non-randomised studies (NRS) of healthcare interventions. Methods:A cross-sectional study of SR on pharmacological or psychological interventions in major depression in adults was conducted. SR published during 2012-2017 were sampled from MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Database of SR. Methodological quality was assessed using AMSTAR 2. Potential predictive factors associated with quality were examined. Results:In rating overall confidence in the results of 60 SR four reviews were rated "high", two were "moderate", one was "low" and 53 were "critically low". The mean AMSTAR 2 percentage score was 45.3% (standard deviation 22.6%) in a wide range from 7.1% to 93.8%. Predictors of higher quality were: type of review (higher quality in Cochrane Reviews), SR including only randomized trials and higher journal impact factor. Limitations:AMSTAR 2 is not intended to be used for the generation of a percentage score. Conclusions:According to AMSTAR 2 the overall methodological quality of SR on the treatment of adult major depression needs improvement. Although there is a high need for summarized information in the field of mental health, this work demonstrates the need to critically assess SR before using their findings. Better adherence to established reporting guidelines for SR is needed.
Project description:<h4>Background:</h4> Breast reconstruction is an important aspect in breast cancer treatment. <h4>Methods:</h4> A comprehensive search of MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews was performed. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses that focused on breast reconstruction and were published between 2000 and 2020 were included. Quality assessment was performed using A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR). Study characteristics were extracted, including journal and impact factor, year of publication, country affiliation, reporting adherence to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, number of citations, and number of studies included. <h4>Results:</h4> The average AMSTAR score was moderate (5.32). There was a significant increase in AMSTAR score (P < 0.01) and number of studies (P < 0.01) over time. There were no significant correlations between AMSTAR score and impact factor (P = 0.038), and AMSTAR score and number of citations (P = 0.52), but there was a significant association between AMSTAR score and number of studies (P = 0.013). Studies that adhered to the PRISMA statement had a higher AMSTAR score on average (P < 0.01). <h4>Conclusions:</h4> Systematic reviews and meta-analyses about breast reconstruction had, on average, a moderate AMSTAR score. The number of studies and methodological quality have increased over time. Study characteristics including adherence to PRISMA guidelines are associated with improved methodological quality. Further improvements in specific AMSTAR domains would improve the overall methodological quality.