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Original Investigation |

Compliance of Systematic Reviews in Plastic Surgery With the PRISMA Statement

Seon-Young Lee, BMedSc1; Harkiran Sagoo, BSc(Hons)2; Katharine Whitehurst, BSc(Hons)3; Georgina Wellstead, BSc(Hons)4; Alexander J. Fowler, BSc(Hons), MBBS5; Riaz A. Agha, BSc(Hons), MBBS, MSc(Oxf), MRCSEng, FHEA, FRSPH6; Dennis Orgill, MD, PhD7
[+] 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.
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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.

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Figure 1.
Articles Reviewed and Selected

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Figure 2.
Compliance of 79 Systematic Reviews With the PRISMA Statement

The number of articles are shown according to the different levels of compliance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement.

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