From the several instruments available to assess methodological quality of reviews (1); KCE recommends the use of AMSTAR 2 (2) that takes into account RCT but also non RCT studies.
An alternative is the ROBINS-tool which is more comprehensive for non randomized studies. (3)
(1) See among other overviews
- Zeng X, Zhang Y, Kwong JSW, Zhang C, Li S, Sun F, et al. The methodological quality assessment tools for preclinical and clinical studies, systematic review and meta-analysis, and clinical practice guideline: a systematic review. Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine. 2015;8(1):2-10.
- Pieper D, Antoine S-L, Morfeld J-C, Mathes T, Eikermann M. Methodological approaches in conducting overviews: current state in HTA agencies. Research Synthesis Methods. 2014;5(3):187-99
(2) Shea Beverley J, Reeves Barnaby C, Wells George, Thuku Micere, Hamel Candyce, Moran Julian et al. AMSTAR 2: a critical appraisal tool for systematic reviews that include randomised or non-randomised studies of healthcare interventions, or both BMJ 2017; 358 :j4008
[Update 20180126] AMSTAR 2 replaces AMSTAR in the toolbox
AMSTAR 2 aims at responding to AMSTAR's criticisms, among others the fact that AMSTAR does not cover non RCT studies.
- Shea BJ, Grimshaw JM, Wells GA, Boers M, Andersson N, Hamel C, et al. Development of AMSTAR: a measurement tool to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2007;7:10
- Burda BU, Holmer HK, Norris SL. Limitations of A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) and suggestions for improvement. Syst Rev. 2016;5(1):58.
[Update] Dutch Cochrane checklist removed from the toolbox
KCE experts initially selected 2 checklists for quality appraisal: AMSTAR and the Dutch Cochrane checklist. However, the Dutch Cochrane tool is not used anymore by its authors and was never formally validated. It has thus been removed from the toolbox.