Association of Study Quality with Completeness of Reporting: Have Completeness of Reporting and Quality of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses in Major Radiology Journals Changed Since Publication of the PRISMA Statement?

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Completeness of reporting is associated with quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in major radiology journals with a few deficient areas; complete reporting has improved modestly since publication of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement, and it is strongly correlated with study quality in these journals.


To evaluate whether completeness of reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in major radiology journals has changed since publication of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement; a secondary objective is to evaluate whether completeness of reporting (ie, PRISMA) is associated with study quality (ie, Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews [AMSTAR]).

Materials and Methods

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses published in major radiology journals between January 2007 and December 2011 were identified by searching MEDLINE with the modified Montori method. Studies were reviewed independently by two investigators and assessed for adherence to the AMSTAR and PRISMA checklists. The average results were analyzed to assess for change in mean score before and after PRISMA publication and to assess results over time; a Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated to assess for any association between PRISMA and AMSTAR results.


Included were 130 studies from 11 journals. Average PRISMA and AMSTAR results were 21.8 of 27 and 7.2 of 11, respectively. The average result was higher after publication of PRISMA, and PRISMA-reported items were 22.6 of 27 after publication of PRISMA versus 20.9 of 27 before publication of PRISMA; AMSTAR results were 7.7 of 11 after publication of PRISMA versus 6.7 of 11 before publication of PRISMA. There was a strong positive correlation (r = 0.86) between the PRISMA and AMSTAR results. There was high variability between journals. Radiology had the highest PRISMA reported items (24.7 of 27), and American Journal of Neuroradiology had the lowest (19.6 of 27). Two major areas for improvement include study protocol registration and assessment of risk of bias across studies (ie, publication bias).


In major radiology journal studies, there was modest improvement in completeness of reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, assessed by PRISMA, which was strongly associated with higher study quality, assessed by AMSTAR.

© RSNA, 2013

Supplemental material: S1

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Article History

Received February 1, 2013; revision requested March 29; revision received April 18; accepted April 27; final version accepted May 1.
Published online: Nov 2013
Published in print: Nov 2013