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Background: Meta-analyses, like all other studies, may be poorly designed and implemented. This study was designed to determine the quality of meta-analyses in systematic reviews in the field of pharmaceutical research in Iran. Methods: Web of Science Core Collection, EMBASE, Ovid Medline, CINAHL, Scopus, and PubMed were systematically searched on June 4, 2017. The search was limited to the researches in the field of pharmaceutical studies. Based on inclusion criteria, 104 systematic reviews with meta-analysis (SRMA) were selected and assessed using quality assessment tools introduced by Higgins. Results: Participants, experimental interventions, and outcomes were reported in all the articles. Comparator intervention and study design were correctly reported in 103 (99.04%) and 101 (97.12%) articles, respectively. The comprehensive search strategy was available only in 48 articles (46.16%), and there was no evidence of a comprehensive search in 56 articles (53.84%). Risk of bias was investigated in 78 articles (75%). Also, funnel plots were the most commonly used method for reporting the bias in 64 articles (46.42%). Conclusion: In many of the meta-analyses, several items of the tool that represented a high-quality meta-analysis were absent. According to the findings, the comprehensive search and quality assessment were not at an appropriate level. Thus, the importance of reproducibility of information and quality assessment of included studies should be emphasized.

Original publication





Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Publication Date