Quality of reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in emergency medicine based on the PRISMA statement

Authors Femke Nawijn , Wietske Blom-Ham , Roderick Houwert , Rolf H.H. Groenwold , Falco Hietbrink , Diederik Smeeing
Published in BMC Emergency Medicine
Publication date 2019
Research groups Proactive care for elderly people living at home
Type Article


Background: Emergency department utilization has increased tremendously over the past years, which is accompanied by an increased necessity for emergency medicine research to support clinical practice. Important sources of evidence are systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs), but these can only be informative provided their quality is sufficiently high, which can only be assessed if reporting is adequate. The purpose of this study was to assess the quality of reporting of SRs and MAs in emergency medicine using the PRISMA statement. Methods: The top five emergency medicine related journals were selected using the 5-year impact factor of the ISI Web of Knowledge of 2015. All SRs and MAs published in these journals between 2015 and 2016 were extracted and assessed independently by two reviewers on compliance with each item of the PRISMA statement. Results: The included reviews (n = 112) reported a mean of 18 ± 4 items of the PRISMA statement adequately. Reviews mentioning PRISMA adherence did not show better reporting than review without mention of adherence (mean 18.6 (SE 0.4) vs. mean 17.8 (SE 0.5); p = 0.214). Reviews published in journals recommending or requiring adherence to a reporting guideline showed better quality of reporting than journals without such instructions (mean 19.2 (SE 0.4) vs. mean 17.2 (SE 0.5); p = 0.001). Conclusion: There is room for improvement of the quality of reporting of SRs and MAs within the emergency medicine literature. Therefore, authors should use a reporting guideline such as the PRISMA statement. Active journal implementation, by requiring PRISMA endorsement, enhances quality of reporting.


  • Wietske Blom-Ham
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Proactive care for elderly people living at home

Language English
Published in BMC Emergency Medicine
Key words epidemiology, quality of reporting, systematic review, meta-analysis, emergency medicine
Digital Object Identifier 10.1186/s12873-019-0233-6

Proactive care for elderly people living at home