Welcoming new reporting guidelines for systematic reviews in exercise, rehabilitation and sports – PERSiST

Transparent, accurate and comprehensive reporting of systematic reviews helps clinicians and policy-makers to implement the review findings into practice. This can be facilitated by helping the authors of systematic reviews to clearly report why the review was done, what they did, and what they found.

Some great minds have been working to improve the reporting of systematic reviews over the past quarter of a century. Initial efforts resulted in the publication of the QUOROM Statement (the acronym for QUality Of Reporting Of Meta-analysis) in 1999. This was a 21-item checklist to describe the preferred way to report the abstract, introduction, methods, results, and discussion sections and a template for illustrating the flow of trials through the review. A new and improved version of the QUOROM Statement, called PRISMA (short for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses), was published in 2009. The PRISMA 2009 Statement consisted of a 27-item checklist and a four-phase flow diagram. An updated version of the PRISMA Statement was released in 2020. This updated version incorporated many of the innovations in the conduct of systematic reviews that had occurred since the release of PRISMA 2009. The recommendations in the PRISMA 2020 Statement have been widely adopted and endorsed by many medical journals.

As review methodology advances, several extensions of the PRISMA Statement have been developed to facilitate the reporting of systematic reviews. These extensions are targeted to specific aspects of systematic reviews (eg, scoping reviews) or related to professional disciplines. The latest extension provides implementation guidance in the fields of sport and exercise medicine, musculoskeletal rehabilitation, and sports science and is called PERSiST (the Prisma in Exercise, Rehabilitation, Sport medicine and SporTs science). PERSiST is intended to support systematic reviewers to implement PRISMA 2020 guidance in their systematic reviews in the sport and exercise medicine, musculoskeletal rehabilita¬tion, and sports science fields. This is achieved by presenting at least one exemplar illustrating excellent reporting for each of the 27 PRISMA 2020 Statement items.

Ardern CL, et al. Implementing the 27 PRISMA 2020 Statement items for systematic reviews in the sport and exercise medicine, musculoskeletal rehabilitation and sports science fields: the PERSiST (implementing Prisma in Exercise, Rehabilitation, Sport medicine and SporTs science) guidance. Br J Sports Med 2021 Oct 8:Epub ahead of print

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