Methodology and Reporting Quality of Systematic Review/Meta-Analysis of Traditional Chinese Medicine
AbstractContext: Good systematic reviews/meta-analyses are important sources of information for clinicians, patients, government officials, and other decision makers. Now, there is an increasing number of systematic reviews/meta-analysis of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Thus, it is necessary to assess the quality of these reviews. Objective: To assess the methodology and reporting quality of systematic reviews/meta-analyses of TCM published in paper-based journals in China. Methods: A comprehensive search of the literature was performed to identify the maximum possible number of reviews on the prevention and cure researches in TCM. Two assessors (Junhua and Hongcai) independently extracted data and put them into a Microsoft Access database for analysis. Two assessment tools were used: (1) the Oxman-Guyatt Overview Quality Assessment Questionnaire (OQAQ); and (2) the Quality of Reporting of Meta analysis (QUOROM). Results: One hundred and seven papers (107) were identified: 71 reviews called “systematic reviews” and 36 called “meta-analyses.” More than half of all the reviews had methodological and reporting flaws that could have influenced the reviews' validity. The deficiencies were mainly in literature searches, characteristics of included and excluded studies reported, primary trials' quality assessment, and data merging. Conclusions: The methodology and reporting quality are poor in both systematic reviews and meta-analysis reviews of TCM published in paper-based journals in China. We should respect the need for high-quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and do these according to specification.