Checklist for reporting a systematic review and meta-analysis

This checklist is based on the PRISMA statement; an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Although the checklist focuses on the reporting of reviews evaluating randomized trials, it can also be used for reporting systematic reviews of other types of research, particularly evaluations of interventions.  Read more

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Complete this checklist by entering the page numbers from your manuscript where readers will find each of the items listed below.

Your article may not currently address all the items on the checklist. Please modify your text to include the missing information. If you are certain that an item does not apply, please write "n/a" and provide a short explanation.

Download your completed checklist and include it as an extra file when you submit to a journal.



Identify the report as a systematic review, meta-analysis, or both. Read more



Structured summary

Provide a structured summary including, as applicable: background; objectives; data sources; study eligibility criteria, participants, and interventions; study appraisal and synthesis methods; results; limitations; conclusions and implications of key findings; systematic review registration number. Read more




Describe the rationale for the review in the context of what is already known. Read more



Provide an explicit statement of questions being addressed with reference to participants, interventions, comparisons, outcomes, and study design (PICOS). Read more



Protocol and registration

Indicate if a review protocol exists, if and where it can be accessed (e.g., Web address) and, if available, provide registration information including the registration number. Read more


Eligibility criteria

Specify study characteristics (e.g., PICOS, length of follow-up) and report characteristics (e.g., years considered, language, publication status) used as criteria for eligibility, giving rational. Read more


Information sources

Describe all information sources in the search (e.g., databases with dates of coverage, contact with study authors to identify additional studies) and date last searched. Read more



Present full electronic search strategy for at least one database, including any limits used, such that it could be repeated. Read more


Study selection

State the process for selecting studies (i.e., for screening, for determining eligibility, for inclusion in the systematic review, and, if applicable, for inclusion in the meta-analysis). Read more


Data collection process

Describe the method of data extraction from reports (e.g., piloted forms, independently by two reviewers) and any processes for obtaining and confirming data from investigators. Read more


Data items

List and define all variables for which data were sought (e.g., PICOS, funding sources), and any assumptions and simplifications made. Read more


Risk of bias in individual studies

Describe methods used for assessing risk of bias in individual studies (including specification of whether this was done at the study or outcome level, or both), and how this information is to be used in any data synthesis. Read more


Summary measures

State the principal summary measures (e.g., risk ratio, difference in means). Read more


Planned methods of analyis

Describe the methods of handling data and combining results of studies, if done, including measures of consistency (e.g., I2) for each meta-analysis. Read more


Risk of bias across studies

Specify any assessment of risk of bias that may affect the cumulative evidence (e.g., publication bias, selective reporting within studies). Read more


Additional analyses

Describe methods of additional analyses (e.g., sensitivity or subgroup analyses, meta-regression), if done, indicating which were pre-specified. Read more



Study selection

Give numbers of studies screened, assessed for eligibility, and included in the review, with reasons for exclusions at each stage, ideally with a flow diagram. Read more


Study characteristics

For each study, present characteristics for which data were extracted (e.g., study size, PICOS, follow-up period) and provide the citation. Read more


Risk of bias within studies

Present data on risk of bias of each study and, if available, any outcome-level assessment (see Item 12). Read more


Results of individual studies

For all outcomes considered (benefits and harms), present, for each study: (a) simple summary data for each intervention group and (b) effect estimates and confidence intervals, ideally with a forest plot. Read more


Synthesis of results

Present the main results of the review. If meta-analyses are done, include for each, confidence intervals and measures of consistency. Read more


Risk of bias across studies

Present results of any assessment of risk of bias across studies (see Item 15). Read more


Additional analysis

Give results of additional analyses, if done (e.g., sensitivity or subgroup analyses, meta-regression [see Item 16]). Read more



Summary of Evidence

Summarize the main findings, including the strength of evidence for each main outcome; consider their relevance to key groups (e.g., health care providers, users, and policy makers. Read more



Discuss limitations at study and outcome level (e.g., risk of bias), and at review level (e.g., incomplete retrieval of identified research, reporting bias). Read more



Provide a general interpretation of the results in the context of other evidence, and implications for future research. Read more




Describe sources of funding or other support (e.g., supply of data) for the systematic review; role of funders for the systematic review. Read more

To acknowledge this checklist in your methods, please state "We used the PRISMA checklist when writing our report [citation]". Then cite this checklist as Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG, The PRISMA Group. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: The PRISMA Statement.

The PRISMA checklist is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY