Methodological quality of systematic reviews on treatments for Parkinson’s disease: A cross-sectional study
2Xiangya School of Public Health, Central South University, China
3School of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
4Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Southern Medical University, China
5State Key Laboratory of Dampness Syndrome of Chinese Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, China
6Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; School of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Systematic reviews (SRs) with high methodological quality can provide the best evidence for clinical practice. However, the methodological quality of SRs on treatments for Parkinson’s disease has not been evaluated comprehensively.
The study aims to assess the methodological quality of a representative sample of SRs on treatments for Parkinson’s disease.
To obtain potentially eligible SRs, literature search was conducted in four international databases including Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, MEDLINE, Embase and PsycINFO from Jan 2016 to Dec 2021. A pre-designed questionnaire was used to extract the bibliographical characteristics of the included SRs. The Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR 2) tool was used to assess the methodological quality of SRs. Factors of methodological quality were explored using multivariable regression analyses.
A total of 119 eligible SRs were included and appraised in this study. Only one SR (0.8%) was appraised as being of high overall methodological quality. Four (3.4%) and seven (5.9%) SRs were of moderate and low overall methodological quality, respectively. Among the appraised SRs, only three (2.5%) used a comprehensive literature search strategy, eleven (9.2%) provided a list of excluded studies with justifications for exclusion and four (3.4%) reported the sources of funding for the studies included in the review. Cochrane SRs and SRs published in journals with higher impact factors had relatively higher overall methodological quality.
This study demonstrated that SRs on Parkinson's disease treatments have relatively low methodology quality. To enhance the methodological quality of SRs, future reviews should establish and register a priori protocol, conduct a comprehensive literature search, provide a list of excluded studies with justifications for exclusion and report on the sources of funding for the studies included in the review.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: Not applicable.