Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) extension for living systematic reviews (LSRs)
2University of Cologne, Germany
3Cochrane Central Executive, UK
4F1000 Research Ltd, UK
5Monash University, Australia
Background: There is substantive variation in how living systematic reviews (LSRs) are reported. An extension to the current Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 2020 statement is needed to better address the unique aspects of LSR reporting.
Objectives: To develop an extension of the PRISMA 2020 statement for LSRs.
Methods: We followed the EQUATOR Network’s guidance for developing health research reporting guidelines. The methodology included a literature review to identify possible new items or elements, a survey of stakeholder groups’ representatives on the proposed additions, and online discussions with those representatives. We then drafted the checklist extension and associated flow diagrams for final feedback and approval.
Results: PRISMA-LSR includes four new items on (1) living mode parameters, (2) changes to the methods, (3) changes to the results, and (4) authors and their roles. It also includes a number of new elements under existing PRISMA 2020 items on identification of the report as ‘living’ in the title, versioning, justification for adopting the living mode, plans for retirement from the living mode, updating collected data and risk of bias information for a previously included study, analytical methods specific to the living mode, a description of what triggered the current version, illustration of results of the search and selection processes of in the different versions, limitations related to the living mode, changes since the preceding version to the implications of the results, planned changes to review methods in upcoming versions, changes since the preceding version in sources support, competing interests, and accessibility of data, code, and materials. The extension also addresses the LSR status which serves to inform about the status of the review in interim period between published versions. The checklist is designed for full reports, a modular approach, and is designed to allow flexibility to users.
Conclusions: PRISMA extension for LSRs accounts for the unique aspects of LSR reporting and can be used by authors and publishers to guide and standardize LSR reporting. Patient, public, and/or healthcare consumer involvement: Improving the reporting of LSRs is essential for providing stakeholders with synthesized evidence in a timely manner.