Evaluation of spin in the abstracts of systematic reviews and meta-analyses focused on cataract therapies.

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Spin-the misrepresentation of study findings such that the beneficial effects of an intervention are magnified beyond what the results actually show-is a reporting practice that has been shown to influence perceptions of treatment efficacy and clinical decision making. We evaluated the extent of spin in the abstracts of systematic reviews of cataract surgery and its complications. We also evaluated whether particular study attributes were associated with spin.Cross-sectional study.We searched MEDLINE and Embase for systematic reviews and meta-analyses relating to cataract treatment. From these search records, screening for eligible studies was done in duplicate. Using a previously developed classification system for spin, we assessed the systematic reviews that met our eligibility criteria for the occurrence of the 9 most severe forms of spin. We performed the evaluation of spin, extracted study characteristics, and appraised the methodological quality of each study using the 16-question AMSTAR-2 scale in duplicate.Searches retrieved 2,059 studies, of which 110 were eligible for data extraction. We found at least 1 form of spin in 30.0% of included systematic reviews (33/110). Six of the 9 types of spin were identified in our sample, the most common being type 3 in 18.2% (20/110) of abstracts. We found no significant association between spin in abstracts, AMSTAR-2 appraisal, and any of the extracted study characteristics.Spin was evident in approximately one-third of the abstracts of evaluated systematic reviews and meta-analyses of cataract surgery and associated complications.

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Authors: Simran Demla, Erin Shinn, Ryan Ottwell, Wade Arthur, Mostafa Khattab, Micah Hartwell, Drew N Wright, Matt Vassar