7 June 2021

Kim Wever, researcher of the department of Health Evidence and an international team published the article 'Epidemiology and reporting characteristics of preclinical systematic reviews' in PLoS Biology.

Abstract

In an effort to better utilize published evidence obtained from animal experiments, systematic reviews of preclinical studies are increasingly more common—along with the methods and tools to appraise them (e.g., SYstematic Review Center for Laboratory animal Experimentation [SYRCLE’s] risk of bias tool). We performed a cross-sectional study of a sample of recent preclinical systematic reviews (2015–2018) and examined a range of epidemiological characteristics and used a 46-item checklist to assess reporting details. We identified 442 reviews published across 43 countries in 23 different disease domains that used 26 animal species. Reporting of key details to ensure transparency and reproducibility was inconsistent across reviews and within article sections. Items were most completely reported in the title, introduction, and results sections of the reviews, while least reported in the methods and discussion sections. Less than half of reviews reported that a risk of bias assessment for internal and external validity was undertaken, and none reported methods for evaluating
construct validity. Our results demonstrate that a considerable number of preclinical systematic reviews investigating diverse topics have been conducted; however, their quality of reporting is inconsistent. Our study provides the justification and evidence to inform the development of guidelines for conducting and reporting preclinical systematic reviews. 

Read the full article in PLoS Biology here .

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