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Table 2 Studies’ quality appraisal checklist [10, 26]

From: Prescribing indicators at primary health care centers within the WHO African region: a systematic analysis (1995–2015)

1. Objective of the study clearly described

2. Study design or data collection methods clearly stated

3. Participants representative of a general patient population (Ideally studies of prescribing indicators should involve a sample of general illness encounters representing a mix of health problems)

4. Adequate sample size (WHO recommends a minimum of 600 encounters)

5. Whether type of facility was specified (i.e. public or private)

6. Whether the number of facilities involved was specified

7. Patient age/gender and other characteristics reported

8. Whether study described how medicines were counted (WHO recommends that FDCs should be counted as one)

9. Whether study defined the medicines to be regarded as antibiotic according to the WHO/INRUD classification if antibiotic indicator was assessed (Only affects quality in terms of % antibiotics use)

10. Whether the reference essential medicines list (EML) used in the study was specified. Researchers may utilize the WHO model EML, facility EML or national EML as reference guide

11. Whether study specified the medicines regarded as injections. Ideally, routine immunizations should not be counted as injections (Only affects quality in terms of % of injections use).

12. Whether the statistical method employed in analyzing the results of the study was appropriate and fully described

13. Whether the study described how missing data was handled and if any confounders

14. Whether the study results were discussed appropriately. For instance, if conclusion (s) were relevant to the findings