The fate of urological systematic reviews registered in PROSPERO
To identify urologic systematic reviews (SRs) registered to PROSPERO that resulted in a publication, and to evaluate their methodological quality and concordance with their stated a priori protocols.
We searched PubMed to identify urologic SR protocols registered in PROSPERO that resulted in a publication and assessed their methodological quality and protocols in relation to their stated a priori protocols in PROSPERO.
Of the 576 urologic SR protocols registered in PROSPERO up to December 2017, 201 (34.9%) resulted in a full SR publication, but only 40 (17.7%) updated their registration record accordingly. Publications were spread over 100 different journals, with a median time-to-publication of 29 months (95% CI 25.0–33.0). The most common topic by far was prostate cancer (59.7%), followed by voiding issues (15.3%), and renal transplantation (15.3%). Only little over half the reviews (52.74%) explicitly stated primary outcome(s) that matched the primary outcome of their corresponding PROSPERO protocol. Notable methodologic deviations from registered protocols included planned restriction on study design (33%), heterogeneity analysis (42%) and planned risk of bias analysis (65.2%).
SR authors in urology are increasingly using PROSPERO to register their titles, but our findings indicate that registration alone is not a guarantor of a high-quality SR product. There appears to be a critical need to raise the bar for review authors registering protocols in PROSPERO, with an emphasis on transparency in their publication status updates as well as deviations from their a priori protocols.
KeywordsSystematic reviews Meta-analysis Evidence-based medicine Protocol PROSPERO
SK: protocol/project development, data collection or management, data analysis, manuscript writing/editing; BC: data collection or management; AK: data collection or management, NS: data collection or management; PB: data collection or management; PD: protocol/project development, data analysis, manuscript writing/editing.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
Research involving human participants and/or animals
This research project did not involve any human participants and/or animals.
The research protocol did not involve human participants or animals and did not require informed consent.
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