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B7O3 | PROSPERO: An international prospective register of systematic review protocols

Abstract text
Background:
Support has grown for the prospective registration of protocols for systematic reviews to encourage transparency in conduct and reporting. Historically, systematic review protocol registers were limited to organisations such as The Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations. Following publication of the PRISMA statement, the UK Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) took the initiative to develop an international prospective register of systematic reviews with health-related outcomes.

Methods:
An international consultation was carried out to identify the key items for inclusion in the register. These were divided into required and optional items.

A two-round electronic modified Delphi survey design was used. The panel was comprised of relevant experts, including commissioners, clinical and academic researchers, methodologists, statisticians, information specialists, publishers and users of systematic review evidence.

Results:
In February 2011, CRD launched PROSPERO, an international register of systematic reviews at the protocol stage. The required dataset, established through the consultation, consists of 22 required items and 18 optional items. The dataset captures the key attributes of review design as well as the administrative details necessary for registration.

PROSPERO offers free registration and free public access. The dedicated web-based interface is electronically searchable and open to all prospective registrants. Cochrane protocols do not need to be registered individually as automatic uploading will be developed.

Initially inclusion is restricted to systematic reviews of the effects of interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor health conditions, for which there is a health-related outcome. The long term aim is to widen the scope to include all ongoing systematic reviews that have a health related outcome.

Conclusions:
PROSPERO should provide a way of assessing the risk of bias in systematic reviews, support the efficient use of funding and timely updating, and contribute to improving the quality of systematic reviews and the decisions that rely upon them.
Authors
Booth A1, Clarke M2, Ghersi D3, Moher D4, Petticrew M5, Stewart L1
1 Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, UK
2 UK Cochrane Centre, UK
3 International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, WHO, Switzerland
4 Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada
5 Department of Scoial and Environmental Health Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
Presenting author and contact person
Presenting author: 
Alison Booth
Contact person: 
Alison Booth (Contact this person)
Date and Location
Session: 
Oral session B7O3
Date: 
Friday 21 October 2011 - 12:05 - 12:25
Location: