Syst Rev. 2022 Jul 23;11(1):147. doi: 10.1186/s13643-022-02029-9.
BACKGROUND: The Measurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) 2 is a critical appraisal tool for systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) of interventions. We aimed to perform the first AMSTAR 2-based quality assessment of heart failure-related studies.
METHODS: Eleven high-impact journals were searched from 2009 to 2019. The included studies were assessed on the basis of 16 domains. Seven domains were deemed critical for high-quality studies. On the basis of the performance in these 16 domains with different weights, overall ratings were generated, and the quality was determined to be “high,” “moderate,” “low,” or “critically low.”
RESULTS: Eighty-one heart failure-related SRs with MAs were included. Overall, 79 studies were of “critically low quality” and two were of “low quality.” These findings were attributed to insufficiency in the following critical domains: a priori protocols (compliance rate, 5%), complete list of exclusions with justification (5%), risk of bias assessment (69%), meta-analysis methodology (78%), and investigation of publication bias (60%).
CONCLUSIONS: The low ratings for these potential high-quality heart failure-related SRs and MAs challenge the discrimination capacity of AMSTAR 2. In addition to identifying certain areas of insufficiency, these findings indicate the need to justify or modify AMSTAR 2’s rating rules.