Quality of reviews in epidemiology

Am J Public Health. 1998 Mar;88(3):475-7. doi: 10.2105/ajph.88.3.475.


Objectives: This study examined the quality of recent reviews in epidemiology.

Methods: All 1995 issues of 7 widely read epidemiology journals were searched to identify reviews.

Results: Twenty-nine reviews were identified. Methodology was not specified or incomplete for literature searches in 79% of reviews; the same was true for inclusion criteria in 83% and for combining studies in 62%. More than 60% of the reviews were not methodologically systematic.

Conclusions: There is a need to improve the quality of review papers in epidemiology. If systematic methodology were followed more frequently, epidemiologic science and its application could be improved.

MeSH terms

  • Epidemiology*
  • Review Literature as Topic*