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Use of GRADE in evidence syntheses published in high-impact-factor nutrition journals: A methodological survey

Published:February 12, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.02.010

      Abstract

      Objective

      To identify and describe the use of the GRADE approach for rating the certainty of evidence in nutrition systematic reviews (SRs).

      Study design and setting

      We systematically searched for SRs using GRADE that were published between 2015 and 2019 in the 10 “nutrition” journals with the highest impact factor according to the JCR 2018.

      Results

      Out of 800 SRs, 55 SRs of randomized control trials (RCTs) and/or nonrandomized studies (NRSs) used GRADE. Forty-seven SRs (5.9%) rated the outcome specific certainty of evidence (n = 36 in 2018/2019). We identified a total of 465 certainty of evidence outcome ratings (n = 335 RCT ratings), ranging from very-low (28.8%) to low (41%), moderate (26.5%), and high (3.7%). Very-low and high certainty of evidence ratings accounted for 61.4% and 0.8% of ratings in SRs of NRSs, compared to 16.1% and 4.8% in SRs of RCTs. Certainty of evidence was downgraded mostly for risk of bias (37.8%) and imprecision (33%) in SRs of RCTs and for imprecision (32.7%), risk of bias (29.4%) and inconsistency (29%) in SRs of NRSs.

      Conclusion

      Our study suggests a need for directing more attention toward strengthening acceptance of GRADE as well as building knowledge of the GRADE methodology in nutrition evidence synthesis.

      Keywords

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