BMC Medical Research Methodology (Mar 2018)

Quality assessment of systematic reviews on total hip or knee arthroplasty using mod-AMSTAR

  • Xinyu Wu,
  • Huan Sun,
  • Xiaoqin Zhou,
  • Ji Wang,
  • Jing Li

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 18, no. 1
pp. 1 – 10


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Abstract Background Increasing numbers of systematic reviews (SRs) on total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA) have been published in recent years, but their quality has been unclear. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the methodological quality of SRs on TKA and THA. Methods We searched Ovid-Medline, Ovid-Embase, Cochrane Databases (including HTA, DARE, and CDSR), CBM, CNKI, Wang Fang, and VIP, from January 2014 to December 2015 for THA and TKA. The quality of SRs was assessed using the modified 25-item “Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews” (mod-AMSTAR) tool, which was based on the AMSTAR scale. A T-test, nonparametric test, and linear regression were conducted to assess the relationship between bibliographical characteristics and methodological quality. Results Sixty-three SRs were included, from which the majority of SRs (50, 79.4%) were conducted in Asia. Only 4 reviews were rated as high quality, and most were weak in providing a priori design (6, 9.5%), not limiting the publication type (8, 13%), providing an excluded primary studies list (4, 6.3%) and reporting support for the included primary studies (1, 1.6%). Reviews published in English journals performed better than did Chinese journals in duplicate data extraction (81.3% vs 46.7%, p = 0.017; 70.8% vs 33.3%, p = 0.009) and providing source of support for the SR (87.5% vs 33.3%, P < 0.001). Reviews published in journals with a higher impact factor were associated with a higher mod-AMSTAR score (regression coefficient: 0.38, 95%CI: 0.11–0.65; P = 0.006). Conclusion The methodological quality of the included SRs is far from satisfactory. Authors of SRs should conform to the recommendations outlined in the mod-AMSTAR items. Areas needing improvement were providing a priori design, not limiting the publication type, providing an excluded primary studies list, and reporting conflicts of interest.