PURPOSE: This study investigates the quality of systematic review abstracts through evaluation of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) abstract guideline adherence, Assessment for Multiple Systematic Reviews Tool (AMSTAR) quality rating, spin, abstract word count, and abstract structure.
STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, and the CEV@US database for articles related to pediatric strabismus. Inclusion criteria regarding pediatric strabismus studies were required to be in English, to be systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses, and to include patients less than 18 years of age. From the search records, 2 investigators independently screened titles and abstracts to locate eligible reviews and to extract study characteristics using AMSTAR-2 and pilot-tested Google forms.
RESULTS: Searches retrieved 545 studies, of which 14 were eligible for data extraction. We found 1 form of spin in 1 abstract (of 14; 7.14%) of our included studies. In all, 11 of 13 (84.62%) studies failed to mention risk of bias assessment. There was no significant association between abstract characteristics and quality of the study. We found a significant correlation between AMSTAR-2 rating and PRISMA completion.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, a positive finding was that no spin was found within the abstracts of articles for pediatric strabismus therapies. PRISMA-A adherence was strongly associated with higher-quality studies and should be considered for all systematic reviews in ophthalmology. Clinical research of pediatric strabismus is significantly limited in the number of studies present, as evidenced by our data. To improve the quality of abstract reporting, efforts from authors and journals are needed.