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Assessing quality of systematic reviews in dermatology from the Philippines using AMSTAR 2

Rowena Natividad S. Flores-Genuino, MD, MSc, FPDS, Maria Christina Filomena R. Batac, MD, MSc, FPDS, Anne Julienne M. Genuino, RPh, MSc, Ian Theodore G. Cabaluna, MD



Quality systematic reviews (SRs) are essential in the practice of evidence-based dermatology. We assessed the methodologic quality of SRs in dermatology from the Philippines.


We searched databases (MEDLINE, CDSR, PROSPERO, HERDIN; from inception until June 30, 2019), and secondary sources. We included SRs, authored by Filipino primary authors, which included clinical trials on any intervention for the treatment or prevention of a dermatologic disease or for maintenance of healthy skin, hair or nails. Two reviewers independently extracted data and appraised the methodological quality of each included SR using the AMSTAR 2. The 16-item AMSTAR 2 has 7 critical items and 9 non-critical items. The number of critical items mainly determine the overall confidence in the results of the review. Descriptive analysis using means and standard deviation for continuous data, and frequency and percentage distribution for categorical data were employed.



Twenty SRs were included in this review, and were mostly published in the 2010s. Majority of SRs had three authors, who belonged to a single institution, with at least one dermatologist. The most common topic was infections and both oral and topical interventions were used. Majority had 5 included studies in the SRs, with a median number of 425 participants. The median number of critical flaws in the included SRs was 4.5, and non-critical flaws, 5. Overall confidence was critically low in majority (19/20 ) of included reviews, with only one review rated as low.



The methodologic quality of the dermatology SRs from the Philippines based on the AMSTAR 2 tool was poor with a rating of critically low in majority. There is a need to improve quality of conduct and reporting through dissemination of the reporting guidelines such as the PRISMA


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Assessing quality of systematic reviews in dermatology from the Philippines using AMSTAR 2