Several articles that meet my inclusion criteria are low quality. Should I exclude them from my analysis?

In systematic reviews, studies are not usually excluded from the results for poor quality because systematic reviews are intended to gather and report all of the evidence on a topic, but there should be a clear explanation of the quality assessment (or Risk of Bias) results.

For meta-analyses, studies but can be excluded due to low quality. Consider using GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations) or some other framework to make it clear to readers that there is high quality evidence for some recommendations and low quality evidence for others.

If you choose to exclude studies completely, you should cite them as near-included (PRISMA 2020 – Item 16b) and indicate which quality assessment criteria were determined to have a high risk of bias.

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