Systematic reviews in oral health: a quality imperative

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Abstract

Systematic reviews must be conducted responsibly, eliminating any scope for error and bias. The reporting quality of a systematic review should follow and conform to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. AMSTAR (Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews) is an assessment tool, which has been developed specifically to assess the quality of the process used in conducting the review. There has been a significant increase in the number of systematic reviews in oral health and several reports have been published stating low AMSTAR ratings of systematic reviews in dentistry. Systematic reviews answer key clinical questions objectively, and are often used to underpin clinical guidelines in oral health. If the quality of these reviews is compromised, this can result in inadequate or inappropriate clinical guidelines. Consequently, ensuring consistent high quality is a key imperative for systematic reviews in oral health.

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