the methodological and reporting quality of scoping reviews in China: A scoping review
Background: Scoping review can assemble knowledge synthesis for emerging evidence, gives a comprehensive overview of the context, and has the potential to influence policy and practice developments. It is increasingly being utilized in China.
Objectives: The purpose of this scoping review is to provide an overview of scoping reviews conducted by Chinese authors within the last decades.
Methods: We searched scoping reviews published by Chinese authors in nine databases and six grey literature databases. We developed predefined forms to select reviews and abstract data. Reporting quality was assessed by the Preferred Reporting Items for PRISMA-ScR checklist. We conducted a quantitative analysis of the scoping review conduct and a qualitative analysis of the research scope. Chi-square and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to compare methodological issues and reporting quality in English-reported and Chinese-reported reviews.
Results: A total of 276 reviews published between 2013 and 2022 were included, 172 English-reported reviews and 104 Chinese-reported reviews, respectively. The purposes mainly focused on mapping and summarizing evidence, and health and nursing were the common topics. Approximately 99.3% of reviews used the term “scoping review”, and Arksey and O’Malley framework was the most frequently cited framework. Twenty-one English-reported scoping reviews provided a protocol of scoping review. PubMed was the most common source in English-reported reviews and CNKI in Chinese-reported reviews. Reviews published in English were more likely to search the grey literature (p-value = 0.011), consult information specialists (p-value < 0.001), and perform an updated search (p-value = 0.008) than those in Chinese. The reviews published in English had a significantly high score than those in Chinese (16 vs. 14; p-value < 0.001). The reporting ratios in English-reported reviews were higher than that in the Chinese reviews in nine items with statistical significance while were lower than in structured summary (p-value < 0.001) and eligibility criteria (p-value = 0.003).
Conclusions: The number of scoping reviews conducted by Chinese authors each year is significantly increasing since 2018. Research topics are diverse; however, the reporting quality is unsatisfactory. Overall, scoping reviews conducted by Chinese authors need more standardization.