Skip to Main Content

Health Sciences - Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analyses: Step 8: Presenting results

LibGuide on Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

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).

Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 statement

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses: a step-by-step guide

Step 8

Presenting results (writing the report)

It is essential that your review is presented clearly, and in accordance with current best practice. For general guidance see the Equator network site here.

The PRISMA statement and this related article by Liberati et al. (2009) provides very clear guidance on reporting of systematic reviews, including a flow chart of studies included, and there is useful advice on reporting meta-analysis of observational studies (MOOSE) at JAMA, 2000 PMID: 10789670.

For general guidance on scientific writing click here

For a very useful guide on how to write a systematic review by Alex Pollock and Eivind Berge (2017) click here

For examples of published systematic reviews and meta-analyses by researchers from UJ click here.

Move to Step 7     Move to Step 9                    Main Menu

Systematic Review Process and Product

Image result for systematic review dissemination

Systematic Review Process