• effect;
  • implant dentistry;
  • meta-analysis;
  • periodontology;
  • reporting;
  • systematic reviews


Proper scientific reporting is necessary to ensure the correct interpretation of study results by readers. The main objective of this study was to assess the quality of reporting in abstracts of systematic reviews (SRs) with meta-analyses in periodontology and implant dentistry. Differences in reporting of abstracts in Cochrane and paper-based reviews were also assessed.


The PubMed electronic database and the Cochrane database for SRs were searched on November 11, 2012, independently and in duplicate, for SRs with meta-analyses related to interventions in periodontology and implant dentistry. Assessment of the quality of reporting was performed independently and in duplicate, taking into account items related to the effect direction, numerical estimates of effect size, measures of precision, probability and consistency.


We initially screened 433 papers and included 146 (127 paper-based and 19 Cochrane reviews, respectively). The direction of evidence was reported in two-thirds of the abstracts while strength of evidence and measure of precision (i.e., confidence interval) were reported in less than half the selected abstracts. Measures of consistency such as I2 statistics were reported in only 5% of the selected sample of abstracts. Cochrane abstracts reported the limitations of evidence and precision better than paper-based ones. Two items (“meta-analysis” in title and abstract, respectively), were nevertheless better reported in paper-based abstracts.


Abstracts of SRs with meta-analyses in periodontology and implant dentistry currently have no uniform standard of reporting, which may hinder readers’ understanding of study outcomes.