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B2O4 | PRISMA in practice: keeping track of the literature search documentation. What are the problems?

Abstract text
The PRISMA Statement (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) calls for detailed reporting of elements of the search process, and has been adopted by The Cochrane Collaboration with the intent of advancing the quality and transparency of Cochrane reviews. At a recent colloquium, Information Retrieval Methods Group participants expressed concern at the feasibility of implementing these reporting requirements.

This study examines adoption of PRISMA search reporting and challenges related to PRISMA reporting standards in the context of new Cochrane reviews.

We examined 19 reviews flagged as "New" in the Cochrane Library (Issue 4, 2011) for reporting aspects of PRISMA elements 7, 8 and 17; total retrieval size, number of unique records, the number of unique studies identified, as well as a flow diagram and transcript of the search. Separately, a survey of research communities, including Trials Search Coordinators, Information Specialists and authors, explored practice and perceived challenges in search documentation.

In our search results all the new reviews incorporated a transcript of the search strategies. Five reviews (26%) included a flow diagram, and these varied in the level of detail provided. Exclusion reasons were rarely provided for records found ineligible based on title and abstract, Survey responses provided insights into the difficulties faced by those responsible for search documentation. These included: lack of time, lack of tools, lack of clear understanding of the requirements, and a lack of clear assignment of responsibility for recording and reporting these elements. In our presentation we will fully discuss the findings.

Cochrane adopted PRISMA in 2009; however, support for PRISMA flow diagrams was only available in RevMan ver 5.1.1 and reporting compliance remains incomplete. Training and support for TSCs and search authors will help provide full implementation of this standard.
Mann M1, Sampson M2, Cooper C3, Stanfield C4, Rader T5
1 Support Unit for Research Evidence, Cardiff University, UK
2 Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Canada
3 Peninsula Technology Assessment Group (PenTAG), Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Exeter, UK
4 EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London, UK
5 Tamara Rader, Cochrane Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group, University of Ottawa, Canada.
Presenting author and contact person
Presenting author: 
Mala Mann
Contact person: 
Mala Mann (Contact this person)
Date and Location
Oral session B2O4
Viernes 21 Octubre 2011 - 12:25 - 12:45