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Systematic Reviews

Information on how to conduct systematic reviews in the health sciences.

Reporting Results

PRISMA provides a list of items to consider when reporting results. 

  • Study selection:  Give numbers of studies screened, assessed for eligibility, & included in the review, with reasons for exclusions at each stage, ideally with a flow diagram.
  • Study characteristics:  For each study, present characteristics for which data were extracted (e.g., study size, PICOs, follow-up period) & provide the citations.
  • Risk of bias within studies:  Present data on risk of bias of each study &, if available, any outcome level assessment.
  • Results of individual studies:  For all outcomes considered (benefits or harms), present, for each study: (a) simple summary data for each intervention group  (b) effect estimates & confidence intervals, ideally with a forest plot. 
  • Synthesis of results:  Present results of each meta-analysis done, including confidence intervals & measures of consistency.
  • Risk of bias across studies:  Present results of any assessment of risk of bias across studies.
  • Additional analysis:  Give results of additional analyses, if done (e.g., sensitivity or subgroup analyses, meta-regression).


  1. Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG; PRISMA Group. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. Ann Intern Med. 2009 Aug 18;151(4):264-9, W64. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-151-4-200908180-00135. Epub 2009 Jul 20. PMID: 19622511.
  2. Liberati A, Altman DG, Tetzlaff J, Mulrow C, Gøtzsche PC, Ioannidis JP, Clarke M, Devereaux PJ, Kleijnen J, Moher D. The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: explanation and elaboration. Ann Intern Med. 2009 Aug 18;151(4):W65-94. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-151-4-200908180-00136. Epub 2009 Jul 20. PMID: 19622512.
  3. Tricco AC, Lillie E, Zarin W,  et al. PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR): Checklist and Explanation. Ann Intern Med. 2018 Oct 2;169(7):467-473. doi: 10.7326/M18-0850. Epub 2018 Sep 4. PMID: 30178033.

PRISMA Diagram Generators

Other Reporting Templates

See the EQUATOR network for more guidelines for reporting health research.

We Can Help!

As a collaborator on your research team, an informationist can write the methods section of your publication. With an informationist as a co-author you can be confident that the methods section of your paper will meet the relevant PRISMA reporting standards and be replicable by other groups.