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Original Article| Volume 154, P167-177, February 2023

Reporting according to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses for abstracts (PRISMA-A) depends on abstract length

  • Jasmin Helbach
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Department of Health Services Research, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, D-26111 Oldenburg, Germany. Tel: +0441-798-2206; fax: +0041-798-5824.
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Services Research, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
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  • Falk Hoffmann
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Services Research, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
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  • Dawid Pieper
    Affiliations
    Faculty of Health Sciences Brandenburg, Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane, Institute for Health Services and Health System Research, Rüdersdorf, Germany

    Center for Health Services Research, Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane, Rüdersdorf, Germany
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  • Katharina Allers
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Services Research, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
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Published:December 27, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2022.12.019

      Abstract

      Objective

      To evaluate reporting of abstracts of systematic reviews according to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses for abstracts (PRISMA-A) 2013 checklist.

      Study Design and Setting

      A random sample of 534 systematic reviews on effectiveness indexed in PubMed between 2000 and 2019 was assessed. Adherence of abstracts to PRISMA-A was analysed using descriptive statistics. Results were stratified by number of words, structure, and year of publication.

      Result

      The mean score of fully reported PRISMA-A items was 5.4 of 12, with adherence varying widely between items (0% to 98.8%). Cochrane reviews received higher mean total scores than non-Cochrane reviews (6.3 vs. 5.2). Adherence to PRISMA-A increased linearly with increasing word count. In non-Cochrane reviews, authors of structured abstracts more often adhered to PRISMA-A than those of unstructured abstracts. No improvements in reporting of abstracts were found after the implementation of PRISMA-A in 2013.

      Conclusion

      Adherence to PRISMA-A shows great potential for improvement. Therefore, authors, editors, and reviewers should be made aware of PRISMA-A by referring to it in the journal submission guidelines. As adherence to PRISMA-A increases with the number of words, journals should consider to increase the word limit to 250–300 words.

      Keywords

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