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Eu Chang Hwang 2 Articles
Prevalence and methodological quality of systematic reviews in Korean medical journals
Seong Jung Kim, Mi Ah Han, Jae Hung Jung, Eu Chang Hwang, Hae Ran Kim, Sang Eun Yoon, Seo-Hee Kim, Pius Kim, So-Yeong Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023017.   Published online February 6, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023017
  • 4,989 View
  • 113 Download
  • 1 Web of Science
  • 2 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
This study aimed to assess and evaluate the prevalence and methodological quality of systematic reviews (SRs) published in major Korean medical journals (KMJs). The top 15 journals with the highest Korean Medical Citation Index, published between 2018 to 2021, were selected. We assessed the methodological quality of SRs using A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews 2 (AMSTAR 2). In total, 126 SRs were included, with an average of 32 SRs being reported annually. The overall prevalence of SRs in KMJs was 2.8%, with an increase from 2.6% in 2018 to 3.4% in 2021. Overall, the methodological quality of SRs was low (9.5% low, 90.5% critically low). More than 80% of the studies adhered to critical domain items such as a comprehensive literature search and risk of bias assessment, but for items such as protocol registration and listing excluded studies and the justification for exclusion, the adherence rate was less than 15%. While the number of SRs in KMJs steadily increased, the overall confidence in the methodological quality was low to critically low. Therefore, in order to provide the best evidence for decision-making in clinical and public health areas, editors, reviewers, and authors need to pay more attention to improving the quality of SRs.
Summary
Korean summary
한국의학저널에서 체계적 문헌고찰의 수는 꾸준히 증가했지만 방법론적 품질은 전반적으로 낮았다. 임상 및 공중 보건 분야에서 의사 결정을 위한 최상의 근거를 제공하기 위해 편집자, 심사자 및 저자는 체계적 문헌고찰의 품질을 개선하는 데 더 많은 관심을 기울여야 할 것이다.
Key Message
While the number of systematic reviews in Korean medical journals steadily increased, the overall confidence of methodological quality was low to critically low. Therefore, in order to provide the best evidence for decision-making in clinical and public health areas, editors, reviewers, and authors need to pay more attention to improving the quality of systematic reviews.

Citations

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  • A methodological framework for rigorous systematic reviews: Tailoring comprehensive analyses to clinicians and healthcare professionals
    Stefano Mancin, Marco Sguanci, Giuliano Anastasi, Lea Godino, Alessio Lo Cascio, Emanuela Morenghi, Michela Piredda, Maria Grazia De Marinis
    Methods.2024; 225: 38.     CrossRef
  • The status quo of systematic reviews published in high-impact journals in Korea: a study focused on protocol registration and GRADE use
    Mi Ah Han, Seong Jung Kim, Eu Chang Hwang, Jae Hung Jung
    Epidemiology and Health.2022; 44: e2022108.     CrossRef
The status quo of systematic reviews published in high-impact journals in Korea: a study focused on protocol registration and GRADE use
Mi Ah Han, Seong Jung Kim, Eu Chang Hwang, Jae Hung Jung
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022108.   Published online November 15, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022108
  • 3,091 View
  • 66 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study investigated the status quo of systematic reviews published in major journals in Korea from the perspective of protocol registration and adopting the grading of recommendation, assessment, development and evaluation (GRADE) system.
METHODS
We examined systematic reviews published in Korea’s top 15 medical journals from 2018 to 2021. Teams of 2 reviewers assessed the studies’ eligibility criteria and extracted data independently and in duplicate. We collected information on study characteristics, protocol registration, and GRADE use of the included reviews, and reviewed the “Instructions for Authors” of the selected journals to assess any guidance related to systematic reviews.
RESULTS
Out of the 126 identified reviews, 18 (14.3%) reported that they registered or published their protocol. Only 5 (4.0%) rated the certainty of evidence; and all 5 used the GRADE system. Only 6 of 15 journals mentioned systematic reviews in their “Instructions for Authors.” Six journals endorsed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) framework for systematic review reporting (2 mandatory, 3 recommended, and 1 unclear). None of the journals included mentioned protocol registration or certainty of evidence in their authors’ guidelines.
CONCLUSIONS
Overall, the proportion of systematic reviews that had prior protocol registration or used the GRADE approach to rate the certainty of evidence was very low. Our study highlights the need for adherence to systematic review standards in medical journals in Korea, including prior protocol registration and certainty of evidence assessment. Our review will help improve the quality of systematic reviews in Korea.
Summary
Korean summary
한국 의학 저널에서 계획서를 사전에 등록하거나 근거의 확실성을 평가하기 위해 GRADE 접근 방식을 사용한 체계적 문헌고찰의 분율은 낮았다. 우리의 연구는 계획서 등록 및 근거의 확실성 평가를 포함하여 체계적 문헌고찰의 방법론적 표준 준수의 필요성을 강조한다.
Key Message
The proportion of systematic reviews that had prior protocol registration or used the GRADE approach to rate the certainty of evidence was very low in Korean medical journals, and our study highlights the need for adherence to systematic review standards in medical journals in Korea, including prior protocol registration and certainty of evidence assessment.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health