Reporting completeness of abstracts of systematic reviews published in leading dental specialty journals

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Abstract

Seehra J, Fleming PS, Polychronopoulou A, Pandis N. Reporting completeness of abstracts of systematic reviews published in leading dental specialty journals. Eur J Oral Sci 2013; 121: 57-62. © 2013 Eur J Oral Sci

The aim of this study was to investigate the reporting completeness of systematic review (SR) abstracts in leading dental specialty journals. Electronic and supplementary hand searching were undertaken to identify SRs published in seven dental specialty journals and in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Abstract reporting completeness was evaluated using a checklist derived from the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Descriptive statistics followed by univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted. Two-hundred and eighteen SR abstracts were identified. Reporting of interventions (94%), objectives (96%), data sources (81%), eligibility criteria (77%), and conclusions (97%) was adequate in the majority of reviews. However, inadequate reporting of participants (18%), results (42%), effect size (14%), level of significance (60%), and trial registration (100%) was commonplace. The mean overall reporting score was 79.1% (95% CI, 77.6–80.6). Only journal of publication was a significant predictor of overall reporting, with inferior results for all journals relative to Cochrane reviews, with scores ranging from −4.3% (95% CI, −8.74 to 0.08) to −35.6% (95% CI, −42.0 to −24.3) for the International Journal of Prosthodontics and the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, respectively. Improved reporting of dental SR abstracts is needed and should be encouraged, as these abstracts may underpin influential clinical decisions.

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