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What Is New in PRISMA 2020?

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The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement was first published in 2009 and was created to help systematic reviewers transparently report why and how a review was performed to develop a manuscript, what research the authors did, and the results they had.

Advances in science and systematic review methodologies, as well as new and changing terminology, over the last thirteen years required that the PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews be revisited and updated.

The PRISMA 2020 statement replaced the 2009 statement and includes new reporting guidance that better reflect the advances in the methods used to identify, select, appraise, and even synthesize information in modern-day scientific and technical studies.

What Is PRISMA 2020?

The PRISMA 2020 statement provides updated reporting guidelines for systematic reviews. These revisions reflect advances in methods used to identify, select, appraise, and synthesize studies; this abstract checklist also has revised flow diagrams for original and updated reviews for those want to learn how to do a PRISMA flow chart or get familiar with the updates. 

The PRISMA systematic review checklist  is a tool used by authors, editors, and peer reviewers to create reviews; and those who use the reviews as part of their work. This secondary group could include guideline developers, policymakers, healthcare providers, patients, and other stakeholders.

Changes in the 2020 PRISMA Statement to Know About

Here are some of the changes that were made to the PRISMA checklist and statement that you might want to know.

  • The abstract reporting checklist was added as a new item.
  • The protocol and registration item was moved from the beginning of the “methods” section to a new “other” section. A sub-item to this section was added recommending that authors describe any amendments made to the information provided at registration or in the protocols.
  • In the “search” item, authors are asked to present full search strategies across all databases, registers, and websites searched (not just the minimum of one database).
  • In the “methods” section, the “study” item now emphasizes reporting how many reviewers screened each of the records, what each reporter retrieved, whether they worked independently, and details about any automation tools used throughout the process.
  • A sub-item was added to “data” that recommends that authors report how outcomes were defined, which results were sought, and methods for selecting a subset of results from the included studies.
  • In the “methods” section, the “synthesis” item was divided into 6 sub-items. The sub-items ask authors to describe the process used to decide which studies were eligible, any methods required to prepare the data for synthesis, methods used to tabulate or visually display the results of individual studies, and methods used to synthesize the results. It also requests a description of any methods used to explore possible causes of heterogeneity among study results and any sensitivity analyses used to assess the robustness of the synthesized results.
  • An addition of a sub-item to the “study” item in the “results” section recommends that authors cite studies that might appear to meet the inclusion criteria, but were excluded. The sub-item asks authors to explain why they excluded these studies.
  • More details were added to the “synthesis of results” item under the “results” section. It now recommends that authors summarize the characteristics and the risk of bias among studies that contribute to the synthesis. They also need to present results of all statistical syntheses conducted and any investigations of possible causes of heterogeneity among study results, as well as present results of any sensitivity analyses.

In addition to the above, there were numerous new items added to PRISMA 2020, including:

  • Authors are asked to report methods for and results of an assessment of certainty in the body of evidence for the outcome.
  • Authors need to declare any competing interests they may have.
  • Authors should indicate whether analytic data code and other materials used in the review are publicly available and, if so, where they can be found.

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When it comes to the PRISMA checklist and statement, DistillerSR has you covered, with access to all the newly updated information you may need. Reach out today.

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