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Table 1 Guidelines of evidence synthesisa

From: Efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave therapy for knee tendinopathies and other soft tissue disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Level of evidence Criteria of judgement
Strong Provided by consistentb, statistically significant pooled results in SMD or OR derived from multiple RCTs, including at least two high-quality RCTsc
Moderate Provided by statistically significant results in one high-quality RCTc or
Provided by inconsistentb, statistically significant pooled results in SMD or OR derived from multiple RCTs, including at least one high-quality RCTc or
Provided by consistentb, statistically significant pooled results in SMD or OR derived from multiple medium-quality RCTsc.
Limited Provided by statistically significant results in one medium-quality RCTc or
Provided by inconsistentb, statistically significant pooled results in SMD or OR derived from multiple RCTs, including at least one medium-quality RCTc or
Provided by consistentb, statistically significant pooled results in SMD or OR derived from multiple low-quality RCTsc
Very limited Provided by statistically significant results in one low-quality RCTc or
Provided by inconsistentb, statistically significant pooled results in SMD or OR derived from multiple low-quality RCTsc
Conflicting Provided by inconsistentb, statistically non-significant results in SMD or OR derived from multiple RCTs regardless of quality
  1. RCT randomized controlled trial, SMD standard mean difference, OR odds ratio
  2. aEstablished in accordance with the “Best-evidence synthesis” which was adapted by Dorrestijn et al. [78] from the van Tulder’s criteria [79]
  3. bPooled results are considered consistent if no statistically significant heterogeneity (I2, P > 0.05) been identified and those are considered inconsistent if statistically significant I2 (P < 0.05) been identified
  4. cMethodological quality of a study is rated based on PEDro score as high (≥7/10), medium (4–6/10), and low (≤3/10)