Guidelines for writing abstracts for systematic reviews: extension to the PRISMA statement
The title and abstract are the most read parts of a biomedical article and so they must be clear, concise and transparent as they are essential for the rapid assessment of a study’s methodology and conclusions.
In 2009, the PRISMA statement established guidelines for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. An extension to the PRISMA statement has been published recently that provides guidance on writing abstracts for systematic reviews:
Beller, E. M., Glasziou, P. P., Altman, D. G., Hopewell, S., Bastian, H., Chalmers, I., . . . for the Prisma for Abstracts Group. (2013). PRISMA for Abstracts: Reporting Systematic Reviews in Journal and Conference Abstracts. PLoS Medicine, 10(4), e1001419.
This extension to the PRISMA statement will undoubtedly prove useful to authors of systematic reviews thanks to the PRISMA for abstracts checklist, which lists the information that a systematic review abstract should contain, along with numerous examples.
Should you have any questions regarding searching in support of systematic reviews or on the PRISMA guidelines, contact your hospital librarian.
Published May 6, 2013.