Background: The number of acupuncture systematic reviews/ meta-analysis(SR/MAs) is increasing rapidly, whereas the reporting quality of SR/MAs is poor and we need reporting criteria to improve this situation.
Objectives: To develop an extension of PRISMA statement for acupuncture to improve the reporting quality of acupuncture SR/MAs.
Methods: We applied a 4-step method including: 1) assess acupuncture SR/MAs and relevant reporting guidelines; 2) investigate the information need from the perspectives of clinicians, researchers, masters and doctors; 3) employ a 3-round Delphi process to select items; and, 4) conduct a face-to-face meeting.
Results: Seven initial items were collected. 269 respondents were surveyed and 251(93%) with complete data were analysed at the second step, which showed a low satisfaction with the reporting quality of acupuncture SR/MAs. Ten items from previous steps were circulated to Delphi process, where 34 experts were invited and 29 agreed to participate. Fifteen items were included after the 3-round Delphi survey. On 12th October 2016, thirteen experts were invited to participate the face-to-face meeting, of whom all commented and approved the 15 extended items. We have finished all the work in December 2016, and formed a checklist with 15 extended items tailored for the acupuncture SR/MAs.
Conclusions: We combined the survey of evidence users, review of current acupuncture SR/MAs, the 3-round Delphi process and the face-to-face meeting to ensure the comprehensiveness, reliability, and practicability of the reporting critiria.