PRISMA and AMSTAR show systematic reviews on health literacy and cancer screening are of good quality
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OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the reporting and methodological quality of systematic reviews (SRs) on health literacy and cancer screening and to investigate factors that may influence overall quality. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We reviewed SRs published between 2009 and 2017. We calculated indices to represent the included SRs' adherence to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) and A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR). To assess possible determinants of SRs' quality, we regressed the index scores on year and region of publication, journal impact factor, authors' reported use of PRISMA, and presence of funding statements. RESULTS: We included 19 SRs, and median index scores were 0.86 for PRISMA (interquartile range [IQR] = 0.11; range = 0.32-1.00) and 0.67 for AMSTAR (IQR = 0.30; range = 0.22-1.00). Methodological and reporting problems pertained to protocol registration or publication, number of raters used, gray literature searches, excluded article lists, and unintegrated discussions of risk of bias and efficacy. Only journal impact factor was statistically significantly associated (positively) with PRISMA and AMSTAR index scores. CONCLUSION: The quality of SRs on health literacy and cancer screening was generally good. Systematic reviewers should register or publish their protocols, include PRISMA and AMSTAR checklists when submitting SRs to journals, and self-evaluate their SRs before submission.
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