Reporting bias and other biases affecting systematic reviews and meta-analyses: A methodological commentary

Mukesh K. Sinha, Victor M. Montori

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses often occupy the top of the hierarchy of evidence in support of evidence-based clinical practice. These studies commonly inform the formulation of clinical guidelines. Bias can intrude at several levels during the conduct of systematic reviews. The effect these various biases, in particular reporting bias, have on pooled estimates and review inferences are potentially significant. In this review, we describe several forms of selection and reporting biases that may occur during the conduct of a systematic review, how these biases might affect a review and what steps could help minimize their influence on review inferences. Specifically, we support calls for prospective international trial registration and open access to trial protocols as two potential solutions that may improve the methodological quality of systematic reviews and the validity of their results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-611
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

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Keywords

  • Bias
  • Database bias
  • Outcome reporting bias
  • Publication bias
  • Selection bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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