Background: Randomised-controlled trials (RCT) are considered as the primary study, systematic review/meta-analysis as the secondary study and meta-epidemiological study as the tertiary study. To date, several reporting statements were developed for RCT and systematic review, but none for meta-epidemiological study. Meanwhile, there is no research about reporting quality of meta-epidemiological studies.
Objectives: We aim to investigate the reporting of meta-epidemiological study.
Methods: We searched the Meta-epidemiological Studies in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science and Cochrane Library. The studies that the terminologies related to meta-epidemiology were reported in title or the methods of statistical analysis were those of meta-epidemiology were eligible for inclusion. Two independent reviewers identified the eligible studies and extracted the data by using standardised forms. Any disagreements were resolved by discussion or consulting the third reviewer.
Results: We identified 3528 references and included 75 articles finally. In title, 61 (80.1%) studies reported the terms related to meta-epidemiology. There were 15 terms used, and the top-five frequently reporting terminologies were meta-epidemiological study (60.7%, 37/61), meta-epidemiologic study (14.8%, 9/61), meta-epidemiological assessment (3.3%, 2/61), meta-epidemiological review (3.3%, 2/61) and meta-regression analysis (3.3%, 2/61). In abstract and the section of methods, 45 (60.0%) and 26 (34.7%) respectively reported that the study type was meta-epidemiologic study. In, 6 (8.0%) stated that the reporting was in accordance with the PRISMA statement. The other aspects of reporting quality of meta-epidemiologic study will presented at the Summit.
Conclusions:Most studies reported that the study type was meta-epidemiologic study in the title and abstract, but the terms varied.