Analysis of the Methodologic Quality of Reporting of Meta-Analyses in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
Study Objective: In 1999, the Quality of Reporting Meta-analyses (QUOROM) conference was convened to set standards for meta-analysis reporting. Although the number of meta-analyses has increased over the past decade, the overall scientific quality of meta-analysis reporting in the anesthesiology and pain-medicine literature is unclear. We undertook a literature review of published meta-analyses in the fields of anesthesiology and pain medicine to describe the quality of reporting. Methods: Meta-analyses relevant to the fields of anesthesiology and pain medicine were identified by a literature search of the Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Cochrane databases. Search terms included combinations of anesth* or anaesth*, preoperative, postoperative, analgesia, pain, and meta-analysis or meta-analyses. Critical care medicine articles were excluded. Publication-related data were extracted from each accepted meta-analysis. The quality of reporting for each meta-analysis was scored by using the Overview Quality Assessment Questionnaire (OQAQ) and the QUOROM checklist. Results: A total of 374 meta-analyses were included and reviewed. The mean (± SD) overall OQAQ score for all publications was 23.9 ± 2.5 out of a maximum possible score of 27. The mean QUOROM score for all publications was 14.3 ± 2.6 out of a maximum possible score of 18. The quality of reporting of meta-analyses correlated with the region of origin and type of journal (non-anesthesiology > anesthesiology) but not with anesthesia subspecialty. Scores obtained by both OQAQ and QUOROM were higher for meta-analyses published after the QUOROM guidelines were released than for those published earlier. Conclusions: The quality of reporting of meta-analyses in the fields of anesthesiology and pain medicine has improved since publication of the QUOROM guidelines.