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Table 1 Descriptors of methodological quality assessment

From: The mid-term outcome of total ankle arthroplasty and ankle fusion in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review

Evaluation criteria Score Descriptors  
Study design Patient evaluation on clinical relevant time points (3) 2 Patients were evaluated with the same criteria at more than one clinical relevant time point (pre- and post-operatively).
   1 Patients were evaluated at more than one time point (but the above criteria were not fulfilled).
   0 Patients were evaluated at only one point in time.
  Evaluation outcome measures (8) 2 Outcome measures were administered by an evaluator who was blind to treatment or self-report was considered as provided by an independent person.
   1 Evaluators were not blinded, but were not involved in treatment or self-report was administered by treatment providers.
   0 Outcome measures were obtained by unblended treatment providers.
Subject Eligibility criteria (10) 2 Inclusion and exclusion criteria were defined and designed to yield a study group generalizable to clinical situation.
   1 Some available inclusion and exclusion information regarding included patients, but information prevents to generalize study results to a specific population.
   0 No information on inclusion and exclusion criteria and limited patients descriptors.
  Response rate (12) 2 90% or more of the patients enrolled or eligible for study were evaluated for outcomes.
   1 More than 70% of the patients eligible for study or enrolled were evaluated for outcomes.
   0 Less than 70% of patients eligible for study or enrolled were evaluated.
Outcome Outcome definitions (16) 2 Primary outcome measure, which represented important clinical outcomes and appropriate psychometric properties (reliability, validity, responsiveness).
   1 Primary outcome measure was evident, but was insufficient in either its clinical relevance or its psychometric properties.
   0 Primary outcome was irrelevant or methodologically unsupported.
Analysis Statistical analysis (21) 2 Authors conveyed both statistical significance and size of treatment effect. Indicated by p-values, confidence intervals, effect sizes, or other similar methods.
   1 Statistical significance of described means and p-values, but no confidence intervals/effect sizes.
   0 Descriptive, statistical information was not reported.
  Data collection (22) 2 Complete data collection or a strategy for handling missing data was documented or a specific analysis was conducted to determine the impact of missing data.
   1 Missing data was not an apparent issue but no strategy for handling missing data was described.
   0 Missing data may have been an issue and no strategy for missing data was documented.
  1. *number between parentheses refers to descriptor of the methodological quality assessment system by Macdermid et al. [13].