The Quality of the Evidence According to GRADE Is Predominantly Low or Very Low in Oral Health Systematic Reviews

Pandis, Nikolaos; Fleming, Padhraig S; Worthington, Helen; Salanti, Georgia (2015). The Quality of the Evidence According to GRADE Is Predominantly Low or Very Low in Oral Health Systematic Reviews. PLoS ONE, 10(7), e0131644. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0131644

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OBJECTIVES The main objective was to assess the credibility of the evidence using Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) in oral health systematic reviews on the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) and elsewhere. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING Systematic Reviews or meta-analyses (January 2008-December 2013) from 14 high impact general dental and specialty dental journals and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were screened for meta-analyses. Data was collected at the systematic review, meta-analysis and trial level. Two reviewers applied and agreed on the GRADE rating for the selected meta-analyses. RESULTS From the 510 systematic reviews initially identified 91 reviews (41 Cochrane and 50 non-Cochrane) were eligible for inclusion. The quality of evidence was high in 2% and moderate in 18% of the included meta-analyses with no difference between Cochrane and non-Cochrane reviews, journal impact factor or year of publication. The most common domains prompting downgrading of the evidence were study limitations (risk of bias) and imprecision (risk of play of chance). CONCLUSION The quality of the evidence in oral health assessed using GRADE is predominantly low or very low suggesting a pressing need for more randomised clinical trials and other studies of higher quality in order to inform clinical decisions thereby reducing the risk of instituting potentially ineffective and/or harmful therapies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Orthodontics

UniBE Contributor:

Pandis, Nikolaos


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Public Library of Science




Eveline Carmen Schuler

Date Deposited:

22 Mar 2016 10:36

Last Modified:

22 Mar 2016 10:36

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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