Preferred Reporting Items for Overviews of Reviews: Development and Dissemination of the PRIOR Statement

Session Type
Oral presentation
Overviews of reviews and scoping reviews
Hartling L1, Gates M1, Gates A1, Pieper D2, Fernandes R3, Tricco A4, Brennan S5, Li T6, Pollock M7, Lunny C4, Sepulveda D8, McKenzie J5, Scott S9, Robinson K10, Matthias K11, Bougioukas K12, Fusar-Poli P13, Whiting P14, Moss S15
1Alberta Research Centre for Health Evidence, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Canada
2Institute for Research in Operative Medicine, Witten/Herdecke University, Germany
3Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Faculty of Medicine and Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Lisbon, Portugal
4Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital, Canada
5School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Australia
6Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, United States
7Institute of Health Economics, Canada
8Department of Health Technology Assessment and Evidence Based Healthcare, Ministry of Health; School of Medicine, Autonomous University of Chile, Chile
9Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Canada
10Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, United States
11Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Applied Science Stralsund, Germany
12Department of Hygiene, Social-Preventive Medicine, and Medical Statistics, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
13King’s Collect London; South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust; University of Pavia, UK and Italy
14Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, UK
15Faculty of Health, Dalhousie University, Canada

Background: Overviews of reviews were originally conceived by Cochrane to offer a “friendly front-end” to their systematic reviews. Overviews are useful for decision-makers (healthcare providers, policy makers, patients) by bringing together systematic reviews on related topics (e.g., different interventions for a given condition) in a single product. The Cochrane Handbook provides methodological guidance; however, to date there has been no reporting guideline for overviews. Consistent and transparent reporting is critical to support the production and use of trusted evidence.
Objectives: Describe the development of the Preferred Reporting Items for Overviews of Reviews (PRIOR) reporting guideline and discuss dissemination strategies.
Methods: We followed the approach recommended by the EQUATOR Network. An international team from 8 countries and 4 continents developed PRIOR, including members with various roles (e.g., reviewers, methodologists, journal editors, public, representatives of organizations that produce reviews). Multiple stages occurred: establishing a team and protocol, establishing the need for a reporting guideline through evidence reviews of published overviews, systematic reviews of existing methodological guidance, modified Delphi to identify relevant items for reporting, and development of the guideline.
Results: PRIOR consists of a checklist (27 main items, 19 sub-items), explanation and elaboration document, and flow diagram. A manuscript describing PRIOR was published in the British Medical Journal (doi: PRIOR is also available through the EQUATOR Network (
Conclusions: PRIOR fills an important need for an evidence-based reporting guideline to support authors of overviews of reviews. Active efforts are needed to ensure effective dissemination and uptake. Dissemination plans include communication strategies and materials (e.g., infographics, tip sheets, blog shots), education modules (e.g., slide decks), presentations (e.g., webinars, workshops), and contacting editors of journals that regularly publish overviews of reviews to encourage endorsement and use by authors and peer-reviewers. Regular evaluations of the reporting quality of published overviews is important to assess the impact of PRIOR and identify areas that warrant additional detail or clarity. Wide adoption of PRIOR from overview authors will help in the production and use of evidence by decision-makers. Patient/public involvement: Members of the public or patients were involved in the Delphi, attended consensus meetings, and were co-authors.