Table 1

Systematic review quality appraisal checklist

Quality measureComponents
Internal validity
  • Randomisation, blinding and sampling done soundly

  • Valid measures and instruments

  • Control versus treatment groups with comparable characteristics, drop-outs not systematically different

  • Appropriate means of analysis including multiple statistical tests, post hoc or subgroups

  • Discussion of confounders and how treated

  • Study design fit-for-purposeā€”the design matches the research questions being asked and answered

External validity
  • Context described clearly, and attention to effect modification related to intervention

  • Discussion of interactions or selection biases

  • Replicated in different settings, populations, long duration or among large sample size (with sufficient power)

  • Summary of results clear

Trustworthiness and transferability (qualitative studies)
  • Clear links between data, interpretation and conclusion

  • Detailed description of methods and analysis techniques

  • Quotes and in-depth, rich description

  • Sample represents diverse views or across populations and contexts, interventions clearly described

  • Clarity on the assumptions/ theoretical perspectives/ values or positionality of researchers