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A descriptive analysis of oral health systematic reviews published, 1991–2012: Cross sectional study. Open Access


Author or creator
Saltaji, H.
Additional contributors
systematic reviews
oral medicine
cross-sectional methods
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Objectives To identify all systematic reviews (SRs) published in the domain of oral health research and describe them in terms of their epidemiological and descriptive characteristics. Design Cross sectional, descriptive study. Methods An electronic search of seven databases was performed from inception through May 2012; bibliographies of relevant publications were also reviewed. Studies were considered for inclusion if they were oral health SRs defined as therapeutic or non-therapeutic investigations that studied a topic or an intervention related to dental, oral or craniofacial diseases/disorders. Data were extracted from all the SRs based on a number of epidemiological and descriptive characteristics. Data were analysed descriptively for all the SRs, within each of the nine dental specialities, and for Cochrane and non-Cochrane SRs separately. Results 1,188 oral health (126 Cochrane and 1062 non-Cochrane) SRs published from 1991 through May 2012 were identified, encompassing the nine dental specialties. Over half (n = 676; 56.9%) of the SRs were published in specialty oral health journals, with almost all (n = 1,178; 99.2%) of the SRs published in English and almost none of the non-Cochrane SRs (n = 11; 0.9%) consisting of updates of previously published SRs. 75.3% of the SRs were categorized as therapeutic, with 64.5% examining non-drug interventions, while approximately half (n = 150/294; 51%) of the non-therapeutic SRs were classified as epidemiological SRs. The SRs included a median of 15 studies, with a meta-analysis conducted in 43.6%, in which a median of 9 studies/1 randomized trial were included in the largest meta-analysis conducted. Funding was received for 25.1% of the SRs, including nearly three-quarters (n = 96; 76.2%) of the Cochrane SRs. Conclusion Epidemiological and descriptive characteristics of the 1,188 oral health SRs varied across the nine dental specialties and by SR category (Cochrane vs. non-Cochrane). There is a clear need for more updates of SRs in all the dental specialties.
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Saltaji, H., Cummings, G. G., Armijo-Olivo, S., Major, M. P., Amin, M., Major, P. W., Hartling, L., & Flores-Mir, C. (2013). A descriptive analysis of oral health systematic reviews published, 1991–2012: Cross sectional study. Plos ONE, 8(9).
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