Methodological quality assessment of paper-based systematic reviews published in oral health Academic Article uri icon


  • This study aimed to conduct a methodological assessment of paper-based systematic reviews (SR) published in oral health using a validated checklist. A secondary objective was to explore temporal trends on methodological quality.Two electronic databases (OVID Medline and OVID EMBASE) were searched for paper-based SR of interventions published in oral health from inception to October 2014. Manual searches of the reference lists of paper-based SR were also conducted. Methodological quality of included paper-based SR was assessed using an 11-item questionnaire, Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) checklist. Methodological quality was summarized using the median and inter-quartile range (IQR) of the AMSTAR score over different categories and time periods.A total of 643 paper-based SR were included. The overall median AMSTAR score was 4 (IQR 2-6). The highest median score (5) was found in the pain dentistry and periodontology fields, while the lowest median score (3) was found in implant dentistry, restorative dentistry, oral medicine, and prosthodontics. The number of paper-based SR per year and the median AMSTAR score increased over time (median score in 1990s was 2 (IQR 2-3), 2000s was 4 (IQR 2-5), and 2010 onwards was 5 (IQR 3-6)).Although the methodological quality of paper-based SR published in oral health has improved in the last few years, there is still scope for improving quality in most evaluated dental specialties.Large-scale assessment of methodological quality of dental SR highlights areas of methodological strengths and weaknesses that can be targeted in future publications to encourage better quality review methodology.


publication date

  • 2016