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Table 1 Characteristics of the reviews which met our inclusion criteria ( n = 8)

From: How explicable are differences between reviews that appear to address a similar research question? A review of reviews of physical activity interventions

Review authors and date Stated aim of review Dates covered Publication type/language Population Intervention type Setting Study design Outcome measured AMSTAR assessmenta
Dobbins & Beyers, 1999 [12] ‘To assess, analyze, and draw conclusions about the effects of heart health community-based initiatives’ 1994-1998 No restriction No restriction Community heart health projects with community involvement in delivery Community Randomized and non-randomized control trials No restriction 1: Y
          2: Y
          3: Y
          4: N
          5: Y
          6: Y
          7: Y
          8: Y
          9: Y
          10: N
          11: Y
          ‘Systematic’
Fogelholm & Lahti-Koski, 2002 [16] ‘Summarize the results of large community interventions for prevention of cardiovascular diseases, with dietary changes and increased physical activity as target behaviors, and change in obesity as one outcome variable” 1990-2002 No restriction No restriction Any physical activity intervention with a PA component Community No restriction Body weight, BMI, obesity 1: CA
          2: N
          3: N
          4: N
          5: Y
          6: Y
          7: N
          8: N
          9: Y
          10: N
          11: N
          ‘Non-systematic’
Jackson et al. 2005a [14] ‘To determine the effects of interventions implemented through sporting organizations to increase (active and non-active) participation in organized sport.’ No restriction −2004 No restriction No restriction Any intervention implemented through sporting organizations to increase sport No restriction Non-randomized and randomized controlled trials. Participation in sport 1: Y
          2: Y
          3: Y
          4: Y
          5: NAb
          6: NA
          7: NA
          8: NA
          9: NA
          10: Y
          11: Y
          ‘Systematic’
Jackson et al. 2005b [15] ‘To determine if policy interventions implemented through sporting organizations instigate and sustain healthy behavior change within the sport setting’ No restriction −2004 No restriction No restriction Policy intervention implemented through sporting organizations intended to instigate and/or sustain healthy behavior change No restriction Non-randomized and randomized controlled trials. Behavior change, intentions, attitudes, knowledge, changes in policy. 1: Y
          2: Y
          3: Y
          4: Y
          5: NAb
          6: NA
          7: NA
          8: NA
          9: NA
          10: Y
          11: Y
          ‘Systematic’
King, 1998 [17] ‘To describe the conceptual and strategic differences between community-level and individual-level approaches to activity promotion, and to highlight some examples of promising community intervention programs that have been evaluated systematically.’ Unclear Unclear Unclear Any community intervention to promote PA (implicit) Unclear Unclear Unclear (behavior change most frequently reported) 1: CA
          2: CA
          3: CA
          4: CA
          5: N
          6: N
          7: N
          8: N
          9: Y
          10: N
          11: N
          ‘Non-systematic’
Murphy and Bauman, 2007 [13] ‘Large-scale, one-off sporting or physical activity events are often thought to impact population PA levels. this article reviews the evidence and explores the nature of the effect’ No restriction −2005 No restriction No restriction Elite or mass sporting event; major population level health promotion events Community No restriction No restriction 1: CA
          2: CA
          3: N
          4: N
          5: N
          6: N
          7: N
          8: N
          9: CA
          10: N
          11: N
          ‘Non-systematic’
Pate, 2000 [18] To summarize literature on “community-based promotion of physical activity and proper diet among children and youth” (rationale, characteristics and impact) Not clear Not clear Youth (implicit in title) Interventions based in ‘communities’ Unclear Unclear Unclear 1: CA
          2: CA
          3: CA
          4: CA
          5: N
          6: N
          7: N
          8: N
          9: Y
          10: N
          11: N
          ‘Non-systematic’
Sharpe, 2003 [19] Implicit: to review the effectiveness of interventions to promote physical activity in community settings Unclear Unclear Unclear Unclear Unclear Community-based Unclear 1: N
          2: CA
          3: CA
          4: CA
          5: N
          6: N
          7: N
          8: N
          9: Y
          10: N
          11: N
          ‘Non-systematic’
  1. aWe used the AMSTAR tool (Development of AMSTAR: a measurement tool to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews. Shea BJ, Grimshaw JM, Wells GA, et al. BMC Med Res Methodol 2007, 7: 10) to score the reviews as follows: 1, Was an ‘a priori’ design provided? 2, Was there duplicate study selection and data extraction? 3, Was a comprehensive literature search performed (please see text for definition)? 4, Was the status of publication (that is, grey literature) used as an inclusion criterion? 5, Was a list of studies (included and excluded) provided? 6, Were the characteristics of the included studies provided? 7, Was the scientific quality of the included studies assessed and documented? 8, Was the scientific quality of the included studies used appropriately in formulating conclusions? 9, Were the methods used to combine the findings of studies appropriate? 10, Was the likelihood of publication bias assessed? 11, Was conflict of interest reported? Answers: Y, Yes; N, No; CA, Can’t answer; NA, Not applicable.
  2. bAlthough these reviews did not contain any included primary studies at all, the review authors stated that they had intended to carry out a formalized data extraction process and quality assurance measures.