Problem: I am confused about why it matters if one uses the PRISMA Statement 2020 checklist versus the PRISMA-P 2015 checklist for a systematic literature review. Therefore, I am looking to StackExchange members who can offer an explanation, perhaps with contrasting examples, to help.

Should it help inform your answer, the goal is to write a bifurcated SLR with recommendations for resolving inconsistent diagnoses of a specific mental disorder

Background: I have spent several hours reading and re-reading about the PRISMA Statement, the PRISMA-P, comparing the checklists side-by-side, and even created a merged table of the checklists.

To me, the checklists are substantially the same. This description of intended/not intended use one checklist vs the other did nothing (for me) to clarify the difference (because, again, there are, to me, no blindingly obvious differences between the checklists).

PRISMA 2020 is not intended to inform the reporting of systematic review protocols, for which a separate statement is available (PRISMA for Protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 statement. *From The PRISMA 2020 statement: an updated guideline for reporting systematic reviews BMJ 2021; 372 (Published 29 March 2021) *

Additional Links

Table 2 PRISMA-P terminology

PRISMA 2020 Statement Checklist

PRISMA-P 2015 Checklist

1 Answer 1


Sometimes it takes writing a post to StackExchange for the lightbulbs to come on. At least I think the lightbulbs are now on.

While cleaning up the merged checklists for readability, it occurred to me that for thesis purposes:

  • The PRISMA-P 2015 is a checklist for writing the proposed method.
  • The PRISMA 2020 statement is a checklist for writing the research results.
  • Either checklist could be adapted by merging items from the other to customize the proposed method or to customize the reporting of the results.

Note: Yes, I am aware that the checklists were created to promote consistency. So, of course, if any adaptations are made, one has to be able to defend doing so.

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