The PRISMA statement is a reporting guideline designed to improve the completeness of reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Authors have used this guideline worldwide to prepare their reviews for publication. In the past, these reports typically compared 2 treatment alternatives. With the evolution of systematic reviews that compare multiple treatments, some of them only indirectly, authors face novel challenges for conducting and reporting their reviews. This extension of the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses) statement was developed specifically to improve the reporting of systematic reviews incorporating network meta-analyses.
A group of experts participated in a systematic review, Delphi survey, and face-to-face discussion and consensus meeting to establish new checklist items for this extension statement. Current PRISMA items were also clarified. A modified, 32-item PRISMA extension checklist was developed to address what the group considered to be immediately relevant to the reporting of network meta-analyses.
This document presents the extension and provides examples of good reporting, as well as elaborations regarding the rationale for new checklist items and the modification of previously existing items from the PRISMA statement. It also highlights educational information related to key considerations in the practice of network meta-analysis. The target audience includes authors and readers of network meta-analyses, as well as journal editors and peer reviewers.