Background: The increase in the number of publications in the last 20 years is not related to an increase in the quality of newly published papers.
Objectives: The aim of our study was to assess the quality of studies published as systematic reviews (SR) or meta-analyses (MA) in the field of bariatrics during 2016 and 2017.
Methods: Following a protocol published in PROSPERO (CRD42017080394) we identified SR and MA in the field of bariatrics. We searched electronic databases with no language restrictions. In order to test the feasibility of preparing a large systematic survey, we conducted a pilot study to test appropriate methods and procedures for such a project. Eligible studies were those identified as SR or MA in the title/abstract, which had aimed to assess any outcome in patients with morbid obesity undergoing, or scheduled to undergo, bariatric surgery. Two authors independently reviewed all titles and abstracts, assessed the full text of potentially eligible studies and assessed the quality of included studies, resolving any discrepancies by discussion and with help from the third review author. We scored the quality of each SR and MA using the AMSTAR 2 checklist and ROBIS tool.
Results: Out of 4084 identified papers we finally included 77 (Fig.1). Evaluation of full texts using the AMSTAR checklist and ROBIS tool is still ongoing. Based on the results of the pilot study: in 2016, the majority of published SR and MA were of low quality (< 5 points; 71.43%); in 2017 the majority were of medium quality (>= 5 points; 55.56%) and one study was of high quality according to AMSTAR scoring (>= 9 points). The full results of the cross-sectional systematic survey will be presented at the conference.
On the basis of the pilot study the quality of studies published as SR and MA in 2016-2017 was unsatisfactory. The results of the full survey will be presented at the conference.
Funding: European Operational Programme Knowledge Education Development 2014 - 2020 - grant number: MNiSW/2017/101/DIR/NN2 - Provided by Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: Has not been sought.