Best Practices for Meta-Reviews in Physical Activity and Health Research: Insights From the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee Scientific Report.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) have proliferated with a concomitant increase in reviews of SRs/MAs or "meta-reviews" (MRs). As uncovered by the 2018 US Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee (PAGAC), there is a paucity of best practice guidance on MRs on physical activity health-related research. This manuscript aims to fill this gap. METHODS: In total, the PAGAC conducted 38 literature searches across 3 electronic databases and triaged 20,838 titles, 4913 abstracts, and 2139 full texts from which 1130 articles qualified for the PAGAC Scientific Report. RESULTS: During the MR process, the following challenges were encountered: (1) if the SR/MA authors had limited experience in synthesis methodology, they likely did not account for risk of bias in the conclusions they reached; (2) many SRs/MAs reviewed the same primary-level studies; (3) many SRs/MAs failed to disclose effect modifier analyses; (4) source populations varied; (5) physical activity exposures were nonstandardized; and (6) dose-response effects or effect modification of the physical activity exposure could not be identified. CONCLUSIONS: Using examples from the PAGAC Scientific Report, we provide (1) a high-level introduction to MRs; (2) recommended steps in conducting a MR; (3) challenges that can be encountered; and (4) guidance in addressing these challenges.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pescatello, LS; Hennessy, EA; Katzmarzyk, PT; Kraus, WE; Fish, AF; Craft, LL; Johnson, BT

Published Date

  • September 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1437 - 1445

PubMed ID

  • 34470914

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1543-5474

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1123/jpah.2021-0243

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States