A tool for assessing Risk Of Bias due to Missing Evidence in a synthesis (ROB-ME)

The ROB-ME tool is intended for authors of systematic reviews to assess risk of bias due to missing evidence in meta-analyses of the effects of interventions, in any other type of pairwise synthesis that yields a point estimate of an intervention effect (e.g. calculation of the median effect across studies when meta-analysis is not possible or appropriate), or in syntheses consisting of only one study with available results.

ROB-ME operates in the same manner as the RoB 2 and ROBINS-I tools, whereby responses to signalling questions provide the basis for a judgement about the risk of bias in the specific synthesized result being assessed.

A preliminary version of the tool is available for piloting purposes here. The ROB-ME tool may be modified in response to feedback from the pilot and use of the tool in systematic reviews or methodological studies is discouraged until the final version is released.