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Creating a PRISMA flow diagram

What is PRISMA?

PRISMA stands for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. It is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The aim of the PRISMA Statement is to help authors improve the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. PRISMA can also be used as a basis for reporting literature reviews for other types of research. Please read these important questions and answers: PRISMA 2020 and PRISMA-S: common questions on tracking records and the flow diagram.

How does it work?

There is a PRISMA Statement which is a 27-item checklist and a four-phase flow diagram. The checklist and diagram will evolve as new evidence emerges. It is an update and expansion of the older QUOROM Statement. The website contains the current definitive version of the PRISMA Statement. In PRISMA 2020, there are now expanded options depending on where you search and whether you are updating a review. Version 1 of PRISMA 2020 includes databases and clinical trial or preprint registers.  Version 2 includes additional sections for documenting other sources, such as searches on websites or in citation lists.  Both versions are available for new and updated reviews from the Equator Network's PRISMA Flow Diagram page.

The easiest way to use PRISMA is to download the PRISMA flow diagram as a word document to your computer and edit it to list the databases used and the number of references retrieved. If you go through it updating each part of the diagram, then it will give a logical description of the steps you have taken to complete your literature review. If you would like more information on how to fill in the flow diagram, select "STEP-BY-STEP Using PRISMA2020" from the menu on the left.

If you want to go in to more detail, then you can download and use the 27-item checklist.

Why PRISMA 2020?

Other PRISMA Extensions

Several extensions of the PRISMA Statement have been developed to facilitate the reporting of different types or aspects of systematic reviews. They can be found on the PRISMA website:

More information on Prisma-S & Prisma 2020

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