Quality assessment of prevalence studies: a systematic review
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OBJECTIVES: The objective of the study is to identify items and domains applicable for the quality assessment of prevalence studies. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We searched databases and the gray literature to identify tools or guides about the quality assessment of prevalence studies. After study selection, we abstracted questions applicable for prevalence studies and classified into at least one of the following domains: 'population and setting', 'condition measurement', 'statistics', and 'other'. PROSPERO registration:CRD42018088437. RESULTS: We included 30 tools: eight (26.7%) specifically designed to appraise prevalence studies and 22 (73.3%) adaptable for this purpose. We identified 12 unique items in the domain "population and setting", 16 in the domain "condition measurement", and 14 in the domain "statistics". Of those, 25 (59.5%) were identified in the eight specific tools. Regarding the domain "other", we identified 77 unique items, mainly related to manuscript writing and reporting (n = 48, 62.3%); of those, 24 (31.2%) were identified in the eight specific tools and 53 (68.8%) in the additional 22 nonspecific tools. CONCLUSION: We provide a comprehensive set of items classified by domains that can guide the appraisal of prevalence studies, conduction of primary prevalence studies, and update or development of tools to evaluate prevalence studies.
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