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Using AMSTAR to assess methodological quality of systematic reviews/Meta-analysis of animal studies in China

Date and Location




Saturday 21 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Yani Gou

Contact person

Xiaojun Huang
Abstract text
Background: Systematic reviews (SRs) of animal studies in the world have become increasingly popular in recent years. This review try to provide the first examination of methodological quality of these SRs in China use the AMSTAR guidelines. Objectives: To examine the methodological quality of SRs of animal studies in China. Methods: Four Chinese databases were searched (CBM, CSJD, CJFD and Wanfang Database) for SRs of animal studies, from January 1978 through to December 2012. Data were extracted into Excel spreadsheets. The AMSTAR checklists was used to assess the methodological quality. Results: A total of 7 SRs were identified. Compliance with AMSTAR checklist items ranged from 0-100% (Table 1). Most reviews were compliant with the following checklist items: used appropriate methods to combine the findings of studies (100.0%), reported the status of publication(i.e.grey literature) used as an inclusion criterion(85.7%), provided a list of studies (included and excluded)(85.7%); More than half of the reviews assessed and documented the scientific quality of the included studies (71.4%), appropriately addressed the quality of included studies in formulating conclusions (71.4%), reported that a comprehensive literature search was performed (57.1%), assessed the likelihood of publication bias (57.1%), provided the characteristics of included studies (57.1%); Few studies reported duplicate study selection and data extraction(42.9%). No studies provided an ‘a priori’ design, or stated whether there was a conflict of interest. Though all of the reviews used the term “systematic review” or “meta-analysis” in the title, no reviews reported a protocol and none were updated even after they had been published after two or more years. Conclusions: Although some SRs of animal studies have been published in Chinese journals recently, the reporting quality is troubling. So, on one hand, animal research publication checklist should be abide by in order to improve the quality of animal research; On the other hand, reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses of animal studies should be discussed.