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Priority Setting Distinguishing Methodological Quality from Report Quality: Assessment Example of Systematic Reviews about Non-pharmacological Intervention for Depression with PRISMA and AMSTAR

Date and Location




Monday 23 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Jiaying wang

Contact person

Hongcai Shang
Abstract text
Background: Methodology quality of systematic reviews (SRs) is very important to figure out the reliability of the results and evidence. Sometimes, during assessment it is hard to distinguish methodological quality from report quality or identify whether the trail was carried out according to the method written in the article. Objections: Taking assessment of SRs and meta-analysis regarding non-pharmacological intervention for depression as an example to check whether priority setting including registration and protocol can improve methodology quality and identify it partly free from report quality. Method: We conducted comprehensive search of the EMBASE, PubMed, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Jouranls@ovid databases, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews to identify possible systematic reviews before November 1, 2012. The studies of non-pharmacological intervention for depression were included under prior design standards. Data was extracted and assessed the report and methodology quality independently by PRISMA and AMSTAR checklists. The correlation between methodological quality and report quality are examined by spearman correlation analysis and the methodological qualities of SRs with and without priority setting were compared. Results: 58 studies were included and 17 of them were with priority setting while 43 were not. The priority setting mainly included registration and protocols. The statistical significance (P<0.05) was found between methodological quality assessment and method part of report quality. The priority settings assist methodological assessment of four articles and check the report rate of outcomes and adverse effect of SRs. Both the report and methodology quality of the SRs with priority setting were better than ones without it according to the AMSTAR and PRISMA scales. Conclusions: Methodological quality closely relates to report quality so the poor report quality brings the difficulty for the methodological assessment. Priority settings including registration and protocol can provide the extra information. The methodological qualities of SRs with priority setting are better than ones without it because they are well designed and monitored in the beginning. Thus, priority settings are recommended to be applied in future to identify and improve the methodological quality of SR.