PubMed® was systematically searched for SRs related to questions of prevention and therapy published in five major urology journals (1/2016 – 12/ 2018). Two reviewers followed a written a priori protocol to independently screen references in Rayyan® and abstract data using a piloted form based on the sixteen domains of AMSTAR-2. We performed pre-planned statistical hypothesis testing by journal of publication in SPSS Version 24.0.
Our search identified 260 relevant references, 144 of which ultimately met inclusion criteria. The largest contributors by journal of publication were European Urology (53; 36.8%) followed by Urology (36; 25.0%), and BJU International (24; 16.6%). The most common clinical topics were oncology (64; 44.4%) and voiding dysfunction (32; 22.2%) followed by stones/endourology (14; 9.7%). Just over one-third (52; 36.2%) of reviews had a registered protocol. Nearly all studies (139; 96.5%) searched at least two databases. Less than one- third (46; 31.9%) also searched trial registries and one-fifth (30; 20.8%) consulted experts for additional trials. Few studies (14; 10.4%) provided a list of potentially relevant but excluded studies. Only six (4.2%) studies met all AMSTAR-2 critical domains as a prerequisite for high quality reviews.
A large number of SRs are published in the urological literature each year, yet their quality is suboptimal. There is a need for educating authors, peer reviewers, and editors alike on established standards for high-quality SRs to ensure improvement in the future.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.