These guidelines are provided to help authors prepare systematic reviews and meta-analyses according to contemporary standards. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses submitted to the AJO-DO will be screened for compliance with these guidelines, including PRISMA (preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses) documentation. These guidelines are supplemental to those for Original Articles.
Guide for Authors 1. See the article “The PRISMA Statement for Reporting Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses of Studies that Evaluate Health Care Interventions: Explanations and Elaboration,” as well as the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses should be conducted using these two documents as guides.
2. Address all items in the PRISMA checklist as completely as possible in the text of the submission. (For submissions without quantitative analyses such as forest plots, some items on the PRISMA checklist may not be applicable.)
3. Download the PRISMA checklist. For each item on the checklist, enter the corresponding page number(s) on the form. If items on the PRISMA checklist do not apply to your submission, write N/A in the space for the page number. Use the page numbering feature in your word processing program to keep numbers consistent throughout the review process. Include the completed PRISMA checklist when you submit your article to the AJO-DO.
4. With respect to the PRISMA checklist and guidelines, please ensure that submissions are correctly identified as systematic reviews or meta-analyses (Item 1), and that a structured summary is provided (Item 2). Additionally, all components of PICOS (participants or population, intervention, comparisons or controls, outcome, and study design) should be clearly specified (Items 4 and 6). Pay special attention to Items 7 - 11 from the Methods section, as well as Items 17, 18, 19, and 20 from the Results section. Items 13, 14, 16, 21, and 23 should be carefully reported when meta-analyses are performed.
5. Download the PRISMA flow diagram and insert the appropriate numbers based on your searches and inclusion/exclusion criteria.