PRISMA Flow Diagrams for Cochrane Review Updates

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Capturing the flow…. Photo copyright Jonathan Billinger and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.

In 2012, The Cochrane Collaboration published their Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews, a set of guidelines showing the mandatory and highly desirable elements of a Cochrane systematic review. One of the MECIR statements was that all new reviews should have a PRISMA flow diagram. A PRISMA flow diagram is essentially a flow chart, showing the number of studies screened, included and excluded at each stage of the review. However, to date there has been no guidance on how to create or expand a PRISMA diagram for a Cochrane review update. A working group of Cochrane Information Specialists have recently published a paper in the Systematic Reviews journal, giving recommendations on PRISMA diagrams and review updates.

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