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Table 2 Checklist for the surgeon to critically appraise a meta-analysis

From: Critical appraisal of meta-analyses: an introductory guide for the practicing surgeon

Has a research question/hypothesis been formulated a priori (before starting the meta-analysis)?
Is the research question FINER[20] (F easible, I nteresting, N ovel, E thical, and R elevant)?
Is the meta-analysis based on a written protocol that clearly outlines research question, primary and secondary outcomes, and inclusion and exclusion criteria?
Has a thorough literature search been performed? Have different search engines (PubMed, Embase, Cochrane library, etc.) been used to identify relevant literature?
Did the authors look for unpublished data, for negative studies, and for publications in non-English languages to minimize retrieval, language, and publication bias?
Was a strategy to exclude individual studies clearly outlined in the publication?
Did two investigators independently perform the quality assessment of the individual studies?
Were sensitivity analyses performed?