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Systematic reviews in orthodontics: Impact of the PRISMA for Abstracts checklist on completeness of reporting

      Highlights

      • Readers usually take the abstract as reference for reading the article's full-text.
      • We evaluated completeness of reporting of a large sample of abstracts of systematic reviews in orthodontics with the PRISMA for Abstracts Checklist (PRISMA-A).
      • The completeness of reporting of abstracts of systematic reviews in orthodontics improved after the introduction of PRISMA-A.
      • Regression analysis showed that some abstract characteristics were associated with better PRISMA-A scores.

      Introduction

      This study evaluated and compared the completeness of reporting of abstracts of orthodontics systematic reviews before and after the publication of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) extension for Abstracts Checklist (PRISMA-A).

      Methods

      Abstracts of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in orthodontics published in PubMed, Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews databases before March 23, 2018, that met the predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria, were evaluated using the 12 items of PRISMA-A, scoring each item from 0 to 2. Abstracts were classified into 2 groups: before and after publication of the PRISMA-A checklist. Three calibrated evaluators (intraclass correlation coefficient and kappa > 0.8) assessed the scores for compliance with the checklist. The number of authors, country of affiliation of the first author, performance of meta-analysis, and topic of the article were recorded. A regression analysis was performed to assess the associations between abstract characteristics and the PRISMA-A scores.

      Results

      Of 1034 abstracts evaluated, 389 were included in the analysis. The mean PRISMA-A score was 53.39 (95% CI, 51.83-54.96). The overall score for studies published after the publication of the checklist was significantly higher than for studies published before (P ≤ 0.0001). The components returning significantly higher scores after publication of PRISMA-A were title (P = 0.024), information from databases (P = 0.026), risk of bias (P ≤ 0.0001), included studies (P ≤ 0.0001), synthesis of results (P ≤ 0.0001), interpretation of results (P = 0.035), financing and conflict of interest (P ≤ 0.0001), and registration (P ≤ 0.0001). These results showed the positive effect of PRISMA-A had on the quality of reporting of orthodontics systematic reviews. Nevertheless, the poor adherence revealed that there is still need for improvement in the quality of abstract reporting.

      Conclusions

      The quality of reporting of abstracts of orthodontic systematic reviews and meta-analyses increased after the introduction of PRISMA-A.
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