Adherence and quality of systematic reviews for automatically registered protocols: a PROSPERO register study
2School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, China
Following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the PROSPERO team established an automated checking procedure for non-COVID-19 systematic reviews that are registered on their platform. This process takes place 30 days after registration. Nevertheless, it remains uncertain whether the systematic reviews that are automatically reviewed by this process meet the required quality standards.
Objectives: To investigate the effect of automatic registration on the quality of systematic reviews.
Methods: Our study involved the random selection of 50 interventional systematic review records that underwent automatic checking and 50 interventional systematic review records that underwent manual checking on the PROSPERO platform. The records were published between 1 Jan 2020 and 1 Jan 2023. We evaluated the quality of all systematic reviews using AMSTAR-2 and compared the influence of the two checking methods on the quality of the reviews.
Results: Of the 100 systematic reviews and meta-analyses included in our study, 41% were published in 2021 and 31% were published in 2022. China had the highest number of publications, accounting for 25%. Our analysis of the 16 items in the AMSTAR-2 tool showed no difference in the quality of systematic reviews between automatic and manual checking methods (Figure). Specifically, the reporting rate of items 13 and 14 was higher in the manual checking group than in the automatic checking group, but this difference was not statistically significant.
Conclusions: Automated registration record checking appears to have no impact on the quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, but further research with a larger sample size is needed to confirm this result.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: None.