Evaluation of the endorsement of the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) statement on the quality of published systematic review and meta-analyses

PLoS One. 2013 Dec 26;8(12):e83138. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083138. eCollection 2013.


Introduction: PRISMA statement was published in 2009 in order to set standards in the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of PRISMA endorsement on the quality of reporting and methodological quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, published in journals in the field of gastroenterology and hepatology (GH).

Methods: Quality of reporting and methodological quality were evaluated by assessing the adherence of papers to PRISMA checklist and AMSTAR quality scale. After identifying the GH journals which endorsed PRISMA in instructions for authors (IA), we appraised: 15 papers published in 2012 explicitly mentioning PRISMA in the full text (Group A); 15 papers from the same journals published in 2012 not explicitly mentioning PRISMA in the full text (Group B); 30 papers published the year preceding PRISMA endorsement from the same journals as above (Group C); 30 papers published in 2012 on the 10 highest impact factor journals in GH which not endorsed PRISMA (Group D).

Results: PRISMA statement was referred in the IA in 9 out of 70 GH journals (12.9%). We found significant increase in overall adherence to PRISMA checklist (Group A, 90.1%; Group C, 83.1%; p = 0.003) and compliance to AMSTAR scale (Group A, 85.0%; Group C, 74.6%; p = 0.002), following the PRISMA endorsement from the nine GH journals. Explicit referencing of PRISMA in manuscript was not associated with increase in quality of reporting and methodological quality (Group A vs. B, p = 0.651, p = 0.900, respectively). Adherence to PRISMA checklist, and the compliance with AMSTAR were significantly higher in journals endorsing PRISMA compared to those not (Groups A+B vs. D; p = 0.003 and p = 0.016, respectively).

Conclusion: The endorsement of PRISMA resulted in increase of both quality of reporting and methodological quality. It is advised that an increasing number of medical journals include PRISMA in the instructions for authors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gastroenterology
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*
  • Periodicals as Topic* / standards
  • Publishing / standards
  • Quality Control
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic*

Grants and funding

The work of Nikola Panic was supported by the ERAWEB project, funded with support of the European Community. The work of Dr Emanuele Leoncini was supported by Fondazione Veronesi. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.