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Table 3 Summary across reports of systematic reviews adhering to QUOROM reporting guideline (N = 7)

From: Systematic review adherence to methodological or reporting quality

Item assessed Item description No. of reports reporting adherence by item Adhering SRs Total SRs %
Title Identify the report as a systematic review 6 133 449 30
Abstract Use a structured format 6 402 449 90
Describe the clinical question explicitly 6 341 449 76
Describe the databases (i.e., list) and other information sources 6 335 449 75
Describe the selection criteria (i.e., population, intervention, outcome, and study design), methods for validity assessment, data abstraction, and study characteristics, and quantitative data synthesis in sufficient detail to permit replication 5 177 388 46
Describe characteristics of the RCTs included and excluded; qualitative and quantitative findings (i.e., point estimates and confidence intervals); and subgroup analyses 5 180 388 46
Describe the main results 6 425 449 95
Introduction: rationale Describe the explicit clinical problem, biological rationale for the intervention, and rationale for review 6 382 449 85
Search Describe the information sources, in detail (e.g., databases, registers, personal files, expert informants, agencies, hand-searching), and any restrictions (years considered, publication status, language of publication) 5 274 388 71
Study selection Describe the inclusion and exclusion criteria (defining population, intervention, principal outcomes, and study design) 6 417 449 93
Data collection process Data extraction: describe the process or processes used (e.g., completed independently, in duplicate) 6 363 449 81
Data items Describe the type of study design, participants’ characteristics, details of intervention, outcome definitions, and how clinical heterogeneity was assessed 6 316 449 70
Risk of bias in individual studies Validity assessment: describe the criteria and process used (e.g., masked conditions, quality assessment, and their findings) 6 240 449 54
Synthesis of results Describe the principal measures of effect (e.g., relative risk), method of combining results (statistical testing and confidence intervals), handling of missing data; how statistical heterogeneity was assessed; a rationale for any a priori sensitivity and subgroup analyses; and any assessment of publication bias 5 219 388 56
Results: study selection Provide a meta-analysis profile summarizing trial flow 6 40 449 9
Study characteristics Present descriptive data for each trial (e.g., age, sample size, intervention, dose, duration, follow-up period) 6 384 449 86
Results of individual studies Report agreement on the selection and validity assessment; present simple summary results (for each treatment group in each trial, for each primary outcome); present data needed to calculate effect sizes and confidence intervals in intention-to-treat analyses (e.g., 2 × 2 tables of counts, means and SDs, proportions) 5 213 388 55
Discussion: summary of evidence Summarize key findings; discuss clinical inferences based on internal and external validity; interpret the results in light of the totality of available evidence; describe potential biases in the review process (e.g., publication bias); and suggest a future research agenda 5 265 388 68