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Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses for Protocols (PRISMA-P) 2013

Date and Location




Sunday 22 September 2013 - 15:30 - 17:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Larissa Shamseer

Contact person

Larissa Shamseer
Abstract text
Background: Systematic reviews (SRs) should build on a protocol describing the rationale, hypothesis and planned methods of the review. While established organizations such as the Cochrane Collaboration mandate and offer guidance on protocol preparation, the majority of SRs are published in peer-reviewed journals where guidance and requirements to document the a priori methodological approach for the SR are lacking. Objectives: To describe the rationale, development and resulting checklist for the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses for Protocols (PRISMA-P) 2013. Methods: Development of PRISMA-P 2013 followed a systematic, consensus-based approach recommended by the EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network (Table 1). Items from the PROSPERO registry for SRs, the PRISMA checklist, the SPIRIT (Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials) checklist, and the Institute of Medicine Standards for Comparative Effectiveness Reviews were collated for consideration at a June 2011 consensus meeting. Meeting attendees, including experts in SR methodology, guideline development, knowledge translation, and journal editors, discussed and debated potential checklist items, later refined by the steering committee. A guidance document containing rationale and examples of good reporting for each checklist item was developed. PRISMA-P documents were further refined through multiple rounds of revision and participant feedback following the meeting. Results: The final PRISMA-P 2013 checklist (Table 2) contains 17 items, five of which include sub-items, considered essential to include in protocols for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Items are categorized into three main sections: administrative information, introduction and methods. Impact: Funding agencies and those commissioning SRs might consider mandating use of PRISMA-P 2013 to facilitate the submission of relevant protocol information in funding applications. Similarly, editors and peer reviewers can use the guidance to gauge the completeness and transparency of a systematic review protocol submitted for publication in a journal or other medium.