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Completed Systematic Reviews




Procedures for Managing Postpartum Hemorrhage: A Systematic Review


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Statistics: 73 Studies, 5 Key Questions, 2 Extraction Forms,
Date Published: Jul 23, 2015 02:37PM
Description: None Provided
Contributor(s): Nila A. Sathe, MA, MLIS Jessica Young, MD, MPH Frances E. Likis, DrPH, NP, CNM, FACNM, FAAN Daphne Carlson-Bremer, DVM. PhD Alicia Morgans, MD Jeff Andrews, MD
Funding Source: None Provided
Methodology Description: None Provided

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Pain Management Injection Therapies for Low-back Pain [Entered Retrospectively]


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Statistics: 92 Studies, 7 Key Questions, 1 Extraction Form,
Date Published: Jul 23, 2015 02:36PM
Description: Structured Abstract Objectives. Low back pain is common and injections with corticosteroids are a frequently used treatment option. This report reviews the current evidence on effectiveness and harms of epidural, facet joint, and sacroiliac corticosteroid injections for low back pain conditions. Data Sources. A prior systematic review (searches through July 2008), electronic databases (Ovid MEDLINE, Scopus, and the Cochrane Libraries from January 2008 through October 2014), reference lists, and clinical trials registries. Review Methods. Using predefined criteria, we selected randomized trials of patients with lumbosacral radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, nonradicular back pain, or chronic postsurgical back pain that compared effectiveness or harms of epidural, facet joint, or sacroiliac corticosteroid injections versus placebo or other interventions. We also included randomized trials that compared different injection techniques and large (sample sizes >1000) observational studies of back injections that reported harms. The quality of included studies was assessed, data were extracted, and results were summarized qualitatively and using meta-analysis on outcomes stratified by immediate- (1 week to <2 weeks), short- (2 weeks to <3 months), intermediate- (3 months to <1 year), and long-term (>1 year) followup. Results. Seventy-eight randomized trials of epidural injections, 13 trials of facet joint injections, and one trial of sacroiliac injections were included. For epidural corticosteroid injections versus placebo interventions for radiculopathy, the only statistically significant effects were on mean improvement in pain at immediate-term followup (weighted mean difference [WMD] ‒7.55 on a 0 to 100 scale, 95% CI ‒11.4 to ‒3.74) (strength of evidence [SOE]: moderate), mean improvement in function at immediate-term followup when an outlier trial was excluded (standardized mean difference [SMD] ‒0.33, 95% CI ‒0.56 to ‒0.09) (SOE: low), and risk of surgery at short-term followup (relative risk [RR] 0.62, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.92) (SOE: low). The magnitude of effects on pain and function was small, did not meet predefined thresholds for minimum clinically important differences, and there were no differences on outcomes at longer-term followup. Evidence on effects of different injection techniques, patient characteristics, or comparator interventions estimates was limited and did not show clear effects. Trials of epidural corticosteroid injections for radiculopathy versus nonplacebo interventions did not clearly demonstrate effectiveness (SOE: insufficient to low). Evidence was limited for epidural corticosteroid injections versus placebo interventions for spinal stenosis (SOE: low to moderate) or nonradicular back pain (SOE: low), but showed no differences in pain, function, or likelihood of surgery. Studies found no clear differences between various facet joint corticosteroid injections (intra-articular, extra-articular [peri-capsular], or medial branch) and placebo interventions (SOE: low to moderate). There was insufficient evidence from one very small trial to determine effects of peri-articular sacroiliac joint corticosteroid injections injection (SOE: insufficient). Serious harms from injections were rare in randomized trials and observational studies, but harms reporting was suboptimal (SOE: low). Conclusions: Epidural corticosteroid injections for radiculopathy were associated with immediate improvements in pain and might be associated with immediate improvements in function, but benefits were small and not sustained, and there was no effect on long-term risk of surgery. Evidence did not suggest that effectiveness varies based on injection technique, corticosteroid, dose, or comparator. Limited evidence suggested that epidural corticosteroid injections are not effective for spinal stenosis or nonradicular back pain and that facet joint corticosteroid injections are not effective for presumed facet joint pain. There was insufficient evidence to evaluate effectiveness of sacroiliac joint corticosteroid injections.
Contributor(s): Roger Chou, MD, FACP Robin Hashimoto, PhD Janna Friedly, MD Rochelle Fu, PhD Tracy Dana, MLS Sean Sullivan, PhD Christina Bougatsos, MPH Jerry Jarvik, MD, MPH
Funding Source: Prepared by the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. HHSA 290-2012-00014-I.) Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; March 2015. www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/reports/final.cfm
Methodology Description: Review Methods. Using predefined criteria, we selected randomized trials of patients with lumbosacral radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, nonradicular back pain, or chronic postsurgical back pain that compared effectiveness or harms of epidural, facet joint, or sacroiliac corticosteroid injections versus placebo or other interventions. We also included randomized trials that compared different injection techniques and large (sample sizes >1000) observational studies of back injections that reported harms. The quality of included studies was assessed, data were extracted, and results were summarized qualitatively and using meta-analysis on outcomes stratified by immediate- (1 week to <2 weeks), short- (2 weeks to <3 months), intermediate- (3 months to <1 year), and long-term (>1 year) followup.)

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Oral Diabetes Medications for Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: An Update [Entered Retrospectively]


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Statistics: 176 Studies, 4 Key Questions, 4 Extraction Forms,
Date Published: Jul 23, 2015 02:36PM
Description: Objectives: Given the number of medications available for type 2 diabetes mellitus, clinicians and patients need information about their effectiveness and safety to make informed choices. The objective of this review was to summarize the benefits and harms of medications (metformin, second-generation sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, meglitinides, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 [DPP- 4] inhibitors, and glucagon-like peptide-1 [GLP-1] receptor agonists), as monotherapy and in combination, for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes; Data Sources: We searched the MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases from inception through April 2010 for original English-language articles and sought unpublished data from the Food and Drug Administration and others; Review Methods: Two reviewers independently screened titles to identify studies that assessed intermediate outcomes (e.g., hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c]), long-term clinical outcomes (e.g., mortality), and harms (e.g., hypoglycemia) in head-to-head monotherapy or combination therapy comparisons. Two reviewers serially extracted data for each article using standardized protocols, assessed applicability, and independently evaluated study quality; Results: The review included 140 randomized controlled trials and 26 observational studies. We graded evidence as low or insufficient for long-term clinical outcomes of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, and neuropathy. Most medications lowered HbA1c on average by 1 absolute percentage point, but metformin was more efficacious than the DPP-4 inhibitors. Two-drug combinations had similar HbA1c reduction. Compared with metformin, thiazolidinediones and sulfonylureas had a more unfavorable effect on weight (mean difference of +2.6 kg). Metformin decreased low density lipoprotein cholesterol relative to pioglitazone, sulfonylureas, and DPP-4 inhibitors. Sulfonylureas had a fourfold higher risk of mild/moderate hypoglycemia compared with metformin alone, and, in combination with metformin, had more than a fivefold increased risk compared with metformin plus thiazolidinediones. Thiazolidinediones had an increased risk of congestive heart failure relative to sulfonylureas and bone fractures relative to metformin. Diarrhea occurred more often for metformin compared with thiazolidinedione users; Conclusions: Comprehensive information comparing benefits and harms of diabetes medications can facilitate personalized treatment choices for patients. Although the long-term benefits and harms of diabetes medications remain unclear, the evidence supports use of metformin as a first- line agent. Comparisons of two-drug combinations showed little to no difference in HbA1c reduction, but some combinations increased risk for hypoglycemia and other adverse events.
Contributor(s): Wendy L. Bennett, MD, MPH; Lisa M. Wilson, ScM; Shari Bolen, MD, MPH; Nisa Maruthur, MD; Sonal Singh, MD; Ranee Chatterjee, MD, MPH; Spyridon S. Marinopoulos, MD, MBA; Milo A. Puhan, MD, PhD; Padmini Ranasinghe, MD, MPH; Wanda K. Nicholson, MD, MPH; Lauren Block, MD; Olaide Odelola, MBBS, MPH; Deepan S. Dalal, MBBS, MPH; Grace E. Ogbeche, MBBS, MPH; Aditya Chandrasekhar, MBBS; Susan Hutfless, PhD; Eric B. Bass, MD, MPH; Jodi B. Segal, MD, MPH
Funding Source: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Methodology Description: We searched the following databases for primary studies for the periods in parentheses: MEDLINE® (1966 to April 2010), Embase® (1974 to April 2010), and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (1966 to April 2010). We updated the MEDLINE search to December 2010 for long-term clinical outcomes (i.e., all-cause mortality, cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, nephropathy and neuropathy). We developed a search strategy for MEDLINE, accessed via PubMed, based on an analysis of the medical subject headings (MeSH) terms and text words of key articles identified a priori. Our search strategy was similar to the one used for the initial 2007 review,21 but it included terms for the additional medications included in this review (Appendix B). In addition, we received the following material from the Scientific Resource Center: • Medical reviews of rosiglitazone, pioglitazone, sitagliptin, glyburide, and metformin, combination of metformin and glipizide, combination of metformin and sitagliptin, insulin detemir, exenatide and postmarketing drug safety information on pioglitazone and insulin glargine from the FDA Web site • The Scientific Discussion sections of the European Public Assessment Reports for rosiglitazone, pioglitazone, sitagliptin, combination rosiglitazone and metformin, exenatide, insulin detemir, and insulin glargine • Health Canada Product Monographs for rosiglitazone, pioglitazone, sitagliptin, combination rosiglitazone and metformin, insulin glargine, and insulin detemir • Public registries of clinical trials, such as Clinical Study Results Web site (available at: www.clinicalstudyresults.org) and ClinicalTrials.gov (available at: www.clinicaltrials.gov). We hand searched 15 journals that most likely to publish articles on this topic (see Appendix C) by scanning the table of contents of each issue for relevant citations from February 2009 through September 2009. We also reviewed the reference lists of each included article and relevant review articles. The results of the searches were downloaded and imported into ProCite® version 5 (ISI ResearchSoft, Carlsbad, CA). We scanned for exact article duplicates, author/title duplicates, and title duplicates using the duplication check feature in ProCite.® From ProCite, the articles were uploaded to DistillerSR (Evidence Partners, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), a Web-based software package developed for systematic review data management. This database was used to track the search results at the levels of title review, abstract review, article inclusion/exclusion, and data abstraction.

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Low-calorie sweeteners and body weight and composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies


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Statistics: 24 Studies, 2 Key Questions, 2 Extraction Forms,
Date Published: Jul 23, 2015 02:34PM
Description: The objective of this project is to systematically review and quantitatively evaluate randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies, separately, that examined the relationship between low-calorie sweeteners and body weight and composition.
Contributor(s): None Provided
Funding Source: Supported by funding from the North American Branch of the International Life Sciences Institute.
Methodology Description: A systematic literature search identified 15 randomized controlled trials and 9 prospective cohort studies that examined low-calorie sweeteners from foods or beverages, or low-calorie sweeteners consumed as tabletop sweeteners. Meta-analyses generated weighted mean differences in body weight and composition values between the low-calorie sweetener and control groups among randomized controlled trials, and weighted mean correlations for low-calorie sweetener intake and these parameters among prospective cohort studies.

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Interventions to Reduce Antibiotic Prescribing for Uncomplicated Acute Respiratory Tract Infections [Entered Retrospectively]


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Statistics: 133 Studies, 6 Key Questions, 1 Extraction Form,
Date Published: Jul 23, 2015 02:34PM
Description: Objectives. To assess the comparative effectiveness of interventions for reducing antibiotic use for acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in adults and children. Data Sources. Electronic databases (MEDLINE® from 1990 and the Cochrane Library databases from 2005 to February 2015), reference lists of included systematic reviews, and scientific information packets from of point-of-care test manufacturers and experts. Review Methods. Using predefined criteria, we selected studies of any intervention designed to reduce antibiotic prescribing for acute RTIs. Interventions were organized into educational, communication, clinical, system level, and multifaceted categories. The key outcome was change in prescribing; secondary outcomes were undesirable consequences such as medical complications and satisfaction. The quality of included studies was rated and the strength of the evidence was assessed. Clinical and methodological heterogeneity limited quantitative analysis. Our synthesis focused on interventions that had evidence of net benefit: at least moderate strength of evidence for decreasing overall prescribing of antibiotics for acute RTI and at least low strength evidence for other outcomes. Results. Based on 132 studies, including 88 randomized controlled trials, several interventions had net benefit. Compared with usual care, reductions in overall prescribing were 21 percent for clinic-based educational programs for parents, 7 percent for public education campaigns combined with clinician education, 9 to 26 percent for communication training, 5 to 9 percent for electronic decision support, 2 to 34 percent for C-reactive protein (CRP), 12 to 72 percent for procalcitonin in adults, and >25 percent for clinician communication training plus CRP testing. Delayed prescribing reduced use by 34 to 76 percent compared with immediate prescribing. Additionally, public education campaigns combined with clinician education and electronic decision support possibly improved appropriate prescribing. Interventions varied in their effects on other outcomes. Few studies assessed impact on the most serious undesirable outcomes, but in those that did, there were no increases in medical complications for public education campaigns combined with clinician education or electronic decision support and, for hospitalizations, no increases for CRP or procalcitonin and only a slight increase for communication+CRP. Negative impacts on less serious outcomes were few and small: more return visits with CRP testing, slightly longer symptom duration with communication training plus CRP testing, and decreased patient satisfaction and slightly longer symptom duration with delayed prescribing. Direct comparisons of interventions were few; only clinician communication training plus CRP testing showed net benefit over CRP testing alone. Interventions with no or negative impact on antibiotic prescribing were procalcitonin in children, clinic-based education for parents of children ≤24 months with acute otitis media, and point-of-care testing for influenza in children. Conclusions. Interventions from all categories had evidence of net benefit and no serious adverse consequences. Magnitude of benefit varied widely and current evidence is inadequate to determine key modifying factors. Future studies need to better evaluate potential effect modifiers, and directly compare the effective interventions individually and combined, on net benefit, sustainability, and resource use.
Contributor(s): Marian McDonagh, Pharm.D., Kim Peterson, M.S., Kevin Winthrop, M.D., M.P.H., Amy Cantor, M.D., Brittany Holzhammer, M.P.H., David Buckley, M.D., M.P.H.
Funding Source: This report is based on research conducted by the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) under contract to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Rockville, MD (Contract No. HHSA290201200014I).
Methodology Description: Using predefined criteria, we selected studies of any intervention designed to reduce antibiotic prescribing for acute RTIs. Interventions were organized into educational, communication, clinical, system level, and multifaceted categories. The key outcome was change in prescribing; secondary outcomes were undesirable consequences such as medical complications and satisfaction. The quality of included studies was rated and the strength of the evidence was assessed. Clinical and methodological heterogeneity limited quantitative analysis. Our synthesis focused on interventions that had evidence of net benefit: at least moderate strength of evidence for decreasing overall prescribing of antibiotics for acute RTI and at least low strength evidence for other outcomes.

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