This paper describes our process to engage regional stakeholders for prioritizing comparative effectiveness research (CER) in cancer diagnostics. We also describe a novel methodology for incorporating stakeholder data and input to inform the objectives of selected CER studies.
Materials & methods
As an integrated component to establishing the infrastructure for community-based CER on diagnostic technologies, we have assembled a regional stakeholder group composed of local payers, clinicians and state healthcare representatives to not only identify and prioritize CER topics most important to the western Washington State region, but also to inform the study design of selected research areas. A landscape analysis process combining literature searches, expert consultations and stakeholder discussions was used to identify possible CER topics in cancer diagnostics. Stakeholders prioritized the top topics using a modified Delphi/group-nominal method and a standardized evaluation criteria framework to determine a final selected CER study area. Implementation of the selected study was immediate due to a unique American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding structure involving the same researchers and stakeholders in both the prioritization and execution phases of the project. Stakeholder engagement was enhanced after study selection via a rapid analysis of a subset of payers’ internal claims, coordinated by the research team, to obtain summary data of imaging patterns of use. Results of this preliminary analysis, which we termed an ‘internal analysis,’ were used to determine with the stakeholders the most important and feasible study objectives.
Stakeholders identified PET and MRI in cancers including breast, lung, lymphoma and colorectal as top priorities. In an internal analysis of breast cancer imaging, summary data from three payers demonstrated utilization rates of advanced imaging increased between 2002 and 2009 in the study population, with a great deal of variability in use between different health plans. Assessing whether breast MRI affects treatment decisions was the top breast cancer study objective selected by the stakeholders. There were other high-priority research areas including whether MRI use improved survival that were not deemed feasible with the length of follow-up time following MRI adoption.
Continuous stakeholder engagement greatly enhanced their enthusiasm for the project. We believe CER implementation will be more successful when undertaken by regional stakeholders.
breast cancer; cancer imaging; comparative effectiveness research; research prioritization; stakeholder involvement
The increasing burden of chronic diseases presents not only challenges to the knowledge and expertise of the professional medical community, but also highlights the need to improve the quality and relevance of clinical research in this domain. Many patients now turn to complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) to treat their chronic illnesses; however, there is very little evidence to guide their decision-making in usual care. The following research recommendations were derived from a CIM Stakeholder Symposium on Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER): (1) CER studies should be made a priority in this field; (2) stakeholders should be engaged at every stage of the research; (3) CER study designs should highlight effectiveness over efficacy; (4) research questions should be well defined to enable the selection of an appropriate CER study design; (5) the CIM community should cultivate widely shared understandings, discourse, tools, and technologies to support the use and validity of CER methods; (6) Effectiveness Guidance Documents on methodological standards should be developed to shape future CER studies. CER is an emerging field and its development and impact must be reflected in future research strategies within CIM. This stakeholder symposium was a first step in providing systematic guidance for future CER in this field.
The Division of Lung Diseases of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) held a workshop to develop recommendations on topics, methodologies, and resources for comparative effectiveness research (CER) that will guide clinical decision making about available treatment options for lung diseases and sleep disorders. A multidisciplinary group of experts with experience in efficacy, effectiveness, implementation, and economic research identified (a) what types of studies the domain of CER in lung diseases and sleep disorders should include, (b) the criteria and process for setting priorities, and (c) current resources for and barriers to CER in lung diseases. Key recommendations were to (1) increase efforts to engage stakeholders in developing CER questions and study designs; (2) invest in further development of databases and other infrastructure, including efficient methods for data sharing; (3) make full use of a broad range of study designs; (4) increase the appropriate use of observational designs and the support of methodologic research; (5) ensure that committees that review CER grant applications include persons with appropriate perspective and expertise; and (6) further develop the workforce for CER by supporting training opportunities that focus on the methodologic and practical skills needed.
randomized controlled trials; observational studies; implementation; study designs; methodology
The clinical utility is uncertain for many cancer genomic applications. Comparative effectiveness research (CER) can provide evidence to clarify this uncertainty.
To identify approaches to help stakeholders make evidence-based decisions, and to describe potential challenges and opportunities using CER to produce evidence-based guidance.
We identified general CER approaches for genomic applications through literature review, the authors’ experiences, and lessons learned from a recent, seven-site CER initiative in cancer genomic medicine. Case studies illustrate the use of CER approaches.
Evidence generation and synthesis approaches include comparative observational and randomized trials, patient reported outcomes, decision modeling, and economic analysis. We identified significant challenges to conducting CER in cancer genomics: the rapid pace of innovation, the lack of regulation, the limited evidence for clinical utility, and the beliefs that genomic tests could have personal utility without having clinical utility. Opportunities to capitalize on CER methods in cancer genomics include improvements in the conduct of evidence synthesis, stakeholder engagement, increasing the number of comparative studies, and developing approaches to inform clinical guidelines and research prioritization.
CER offers a variety of methodological approaches to address stakeholders’ needs. Innovative approaches are needed to ensure an effective translation of genomic discoveries.
evidence synthesis; evidence generation; stakeholder; clinical utility
Quality acupuncture influences the outcomes of clinical research, and issues associated with effective administration of acupuncture in randomized controlled trials need to be addressed when appraising studies.
The study objective was to achieve consensus on domains and items for inclusion in a rating scale to assess quality acupuncture administered in clinical research.
Study design and subjects
An active group of Australian acupuncture researchers initially identified a pool of items assessing quality. The Delphi consensus process was then used to select and reduce the number of items, and an additional expert panel of 42 researchers were invited to participate. Participants initially ranked items along a five-point scale for the first Delphi round, and indicated an agree or disagree response during the second round. For an item to be retained into the second round, an item had to attain greater than 80% agreement that the item described a dimension of quality acupuncture and related study design.
Thirty-two (32) experts agreed to participate in the study. After two rounds of the Delphi process, consensus was reached on 14 domains and 26 items relating to quality acupuncture. Domains, items, and minimum standards related to study design; rationale of the intervention; criteria relating to needling stimulation either manual or electrostimulation; duration and frequency of treatment; and practitioner training.
Items for inclusion in an instrument to assess quality acupuncture in clinical research were identified. Further development of the instrument including relative weighting of items and reliability testing is under way.
Comparative effectiveness research (CER) documents important differences in antidepressants in terms of efficacy, safety, cost, and burden to the patient. Decision aids can adapt this evidence to help patients participate in making informed choices. In turn, antidepressant therapy will more likely reflect patients’ values and context, leading to improved adherence and mood outcomes.
The objective of this study is to develop the Depression Medication Choice decision aid for use during primary care encounters, and to test its efficacy by conducting a clustered practical randomized trial comparing the decision aid to usual depression care in primary care practices.
We will use a novel practice-based, patient-centered approach based on participatory action research that involves a multidisciplinary team of designers, investigators, clinicians, patient representatives, and other stakeholders for the development of the decision aid. We will then conduct a clustered practical randomized trial enrolling clinicians and their patients (n = 300) with moderate to severe depression from rural, suburban and inner city primary care practices (n = 10). The intervention will consist of the use of the depression medication choice decision aid during the clinical encounter. This trial will generate preliminary evidence of the relative impact of the decision aid on patient involvement in decision making, decision making quality, patient knowledge, and 6-month measures of medication adherence and mental health compared to usual depression care.
Upon completion of the proposed research, we will have developed and evaluated the efficacy of the decision aid depression medication choice as a novel translational tool for CER in depression treatment, engaged patients with depression in their care, and refined the process by which we conduct practice-based trials with limited research footprint.
Clinical Trials.gov: NCT01502891
Depression; Comparative effectiveness research; Shared decision making; Decision aid; Implementation; Randomized controlled trial
Comparative effectiveness research and pragmatic clinical trials are valued methods to address the limitations of traditional randomized trials, answer questions of cost-effectiveness or noninferiority, and inform data-driven dialogue and decision making by stakeholders.
Although much effort has focused on identifying national comparative effectiveness research (CER) priorities, little is known about the CER priorities of community-based practitioners treating patients with advanced cancer. CER priorities of managed-care–based clinicians may be valuable as reflections of both payer and provider research interests.
We conducted mixed methods interviews with 10 clinicians (five oncologists and five pharmacists) at five health plans within the Health Maintenance Organization Cancer Research Network. We asked, “What evidence do you most wish you had when treating patients with advanced cancer?” and questioned participants on their impressions and knowledge of CER and pragmatic clinical trials (PCTs). We conducted qualitative analyses to identify themes across interviews.
Ninety percent of participants had heard of CER, 20% had heard of PCTs, and all rated CER/PCTs as highly relevant to patient and health plan decision making. Each participant offered between three and 10 research priorities. Half (49%) involved head-to-head treatment comparisons; another 20% involved comparing different schedules or dosing regimens of the same treatment. The majority included alternative outcomes to survival (eg, toxicity, quality of life, noninferiority). Participants cited several limitations to existing evidence including lack of generalizability, funding biases, and rapid development of new treatments.
Head-to-head treatment comparisons remain a major evidence need among community-based oncology clinicians, and CER/PCTs are highly valued methods to address the limitations of traditional randomized trials, answer questions of cost-effectiveness or noninferiority, and inform data-driven dialogue and decision making by all stakeholders.
Despite being a core business of medicine, end of life care (EoLC) is neglected. It is hampered by research that is difficult to conduct with no common standards. We aimed to develop evidence-based guidance on the best methods for the design and conduct of research on EoLC to further knowledge in the field.
The Methods Of Researching End of life Care (MORECare) project built on the Medical Research Council guidance on the development and evaluation of complex circumstances. We conducted systematic literature reviews, transparent expert consultations (TEC) involving consensus methods of nominal group and online voting, and stakeholder workshops to identify challenges and best practice in EoLC research, including: participation recruitment, ethics, attrition, integration of mixed methods, complex outcomes and economic evaluation. We synthesised all findings to develop a guidance statement on the best methods to research EoLC.
We integrated data from three systematic reviews and five TECs with 133 online responses. We recommend research designs extending beyond randomised trials and encompassing mixed methods. Patients and families value participation in research, and consumer or patient collaboration in developing studies can resolve some ethical concerns. It is ethically desirable to offer patients and families the opportunity to participate in research. Outcome measures should be short, responsive to change and ideally used for both clinical practice and research. Attrition should be anticipated in studies and may affirm inclusion of the relevant population, but careful reporting is necessitated using a new classification. Eventual implementation requires consideration at all stages of the project.
The MORECare statement provides 36 best practice solutions for research evaluating services and treatments in EoLC to improve study quality and set the standard for future research. The statement may be used alongside existing statements and provides a first step in setting common, much needed standards for evaluative research in EoLC. These are relevant to those undertaking research, trainee researchers, research funders, ethical committees and editors.
Palliative care; Terminal care; Research design; Methods; Evaluation studies; Review; Consensus
Travel from countries where viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHF) are endemic has increased significantly over the past decades. In several reported VHF events on airplanes, passenger trace back was initiated but the scale of the trace back differed considerably. The absence of guidance documents to help the decision on necessity and scale of the trace back contributed to this variation.
This article outlines the recommendations of an expert panel on Lassa fever, Ebola and Marburg haemorrhagic fever to the wider scientific community in order to advise the relevant stakeholders in the decision and scale of a possible passenger trace back.
The evidence was collected through review of published literature and through the views of an expert panel. The guidance was agreed by consensus.
Only a few events of VHF cases during air travel are reported in literature, with no documented infection in followed up contacts, so that no evidence of transmission of VHF during air travel exists to date. Based on this and the expert opinion, it was recommended that passenger trace back was undertaken only if: the index case had symptoms during the flight; the flight was within 21 days after detection of the event; and for Lassa fever if exposure of body fluid has been reported. The trace back should only be done after confirmation of the index case. Passengers and crew with direct contact, seat neighbours (+/− 1 seat), crew and cleaning personal of the section of the index case should be included in the trace back.
No evidence has been found for the transmission of VHF in airplanes. This information should be taken into account, when a trace back decision has to be taken, because such a measure produces an enormous work load. The procedure suggested by the expert group can guide decisions made in future events, where a patient with suspected VHF infection travelled on a plane. However, the actual decision on start and scale of a trace back always lies in the hands of the responsible people taking all relevant information into account.
Viral haemorrhagic fever; Lassa fever; Ebola haemorrhagic fever; Marburg haemorrhagic fever; Passenger trace back; Contact tracing; Air travel
Objective To develop a set of quality criteria for patient decision support technologies (decision aids).
Design and setting Two stage web based Delphi process using online rating process to enable international collaboration.
Participants Individuals from four stakeholder groups (researchers, practitioners, patients, policy makers) representing 14 countries reviewed evidence summaries and rated the importance of 80 criteria in 12 quality domains ona1to9 scale. Second round participants received feedback from the first round and repeated their assessment of the 80 criteria plus three new ones.
Main outcome measure Aggregate ratings for each criterion calculated using medians weighted to compensate for different numbers in stakeholder groups; criteria rated between 7 and 9 were retained.
Results 212 nominated people were invited to participate. Of those invited, 122 participated in the first round (77 researchers, 21 patients, 10 practitioners, 14 policy makers); 104/122 (85%) participated in the second round. 74 of 83 criteria were retained in the following domains: systematic development process (9/9 criteria); providing information about options (13/13); presenting probabilities (11/13); clarifying and expressing values (3/3); using patient stories (2/5); guiding/coaching (3/5); disclosing conflicts of interest (5/5); providing internet access (6/6); balanced presentation of options (3/3); using plain language (4/6); basing information on up to date evidence (7/7); and establishing effectiveness (8/8).
Conclusions Criteria were given the highest ratings where evidence existed, and these were retained. Gaps in research were highlighted. Developers, users, and purchasers of patient decision aids now have a checklist for appraising quality. An instrument for measuring quality of decision aids is being developed.
In November 2007, the Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR) held an international symposium to mark the 10th anniversary of the 1997 NIH Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture. The symposium presentations revealed the considerable maturation of the field of acupuncture research, yet two provocative paradoxes emerged. First, a number of well-designed clinical trials have reported that true acupuncture is superior to usual care, but does not significantly outperform sham acupuncture, findings apparently at odds with traditional theories regarding acupuncture point specificity. Second, although many studies using animal and human experimental models have reported physiological effects that vary as a function of needling parameters (e.g., mode of stimulation) the extent to which these parameters influence therapeutic outcomes in clinical trials is unclear. This White Paper, collaboratively written by the SAR Board of Directors, identifies gaps in knowledge underlying the paradoxes and proposes strategies for their resolution through translational research. We recommend that acupuncture treatments should be studied (1) “top down” as multi-component “whole-system” interventions and (2) “bottom up” as mechanistic studies that focus on understanding how individual treatment components interact and translate into clinical and physiological outcomes. Such a strategy, incorporating considerations of efficacy, effectiveness and qualitative measures, will strengthen the evidence base for such complex interventions as acupuncture.
Human tissue biobanking encompasses a wide range of activities and study designs and is critical for application of a wide range of new technologies (-“omics”) to the discovery of molecular patterns of disease and for implementation of novel biomarkers into clinical trials. Pathology is the cornerstone of hospital-based tissue biobanking. Pathologists not only provide essential information identifying the specimen but also make decisions on what should be biobanked, making sure that the timing of all operations is consistent with both the requirements of clinical diagnosis and the optimal preservation of biological products. This document summarizes the conclusions of a Pathology Expert Group Meeting within the European Biological and Biomolecular Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) Program. These recommendations are aimed at providing guidance for pathologists as well as for institutions hosting biobanks on how to better integrate and support pathological activities within the framework of biobanks that fulfill international standards.
Pathology; Biobanks; Biomarkers; Harmonization; Standards; Translational research
Case management programmes for home-dwelling people with dementia and their informal carers exist in multiple forms and shapes. The aim of this research was to identify the essential components of case management for people with dementia as well as the preconditions for an effective delivery of case management services.
The method used to carry out the research was a modified four-phase Delphi design. First, a list of potentially essential components and preconditions for the provision of case management was drawn up on the basis of a literature review and a subsequent focus group interview. The list was then validated by experts in a first Delphi survey round, following which the researchers translated the list items into 75 statements. In the second Delphi survey, the experts rated the statements; in the third Delphi round, they rated 18 statements on which no consensus had been reached in the second round.
The experts were able to build consensus on 61 of the 75 statements. Essential components of case management for people with dementia are: information, support and counselling, coordination of the care provided and, to a lesser extent, practical help. A patient-centred approach was found to be one of the key aspects of providing case management services. Essential preconditions are: vision, care relationship, structured methodology, integration of case management into the health care chain, and the case manager's level of training and expertise.
We recommend that, based on the essential components and preconditions referred to above, quality criteria be developed for the provision of case management for people with dementia. Furthermore, we suggest the conduct of additional research to assess the effectiveness of case management in people with dementia.
This seventh best‐practice review examines four series of common primary care questions in laboratory medicine: (1) blood count abnormalities 2; (2) cardiac troponins; (3) high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol; and (4) viral diseases 2. The review is presented in a question–answer format, with authorship attributed for each question series. The recommendations are a précis of guidance found using a standardised literature search of national and international guidance notes, consensus statements, health policy documents and evidence‐based medicine reviews, supplemented by Medline Embase searches to identify relevant primary research documents. The recommendations are not standards, but form a guide to be set in the clinical context. Most are consensus based rather than evidence based. They will be updated periodically to take account of new information.
The evaluation and use of patient reported outcome (PRO) measures requires detailed understanding of the meaning of the outcome of interest. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently presented its draft guidance and view on the use of PRO measures as endpoints in clinical trials. One section of the guidance document specifically deals with advice about the use of the minimal important difference (MID) that we redefined as the smallest difference in score in the outcome of interest that informed patients or informed proxies perceive as important. The advice, however, is short, indeed much too short. We believe that expanding the section and making it more specific will benefit all stakeholders: patients, clinicians, other clinical decision makers, those designing trials and making claims, payers and the FDA.
There is no "gold standard" methodology of estimating the MID or achieving the meaningfulness of clinical trial results based on patient reported outcomes. There are many methods of estimating the MID usually grouped into two distinct categories: anchor-based methods, that examine the relationship between scores on the target instrument and some independent measure, and distribution-based methods resorting to the statistical characteristics of the obtained scores.
Estimation of an MID and interpretation of clinical trial results that present patient important outcomes is demanding but vital for informing the decision to recommend approve a given intervention. Investigators are encouraged to use reliable and valid methods to achieve meaningfulness of their results, preferably those that rely on patients to estimate what constitutes a minimal important, small, moderate, or large difference. However, acquiring the meaningfulness of PRO measures transcends beyond a concept of the MID and we advocate that dichotomizing the scores of patient-reported outcome measures facilitate interpretability of clinical trial results for those who need to understand trial results after a labelling claim has been granted. Irrespective of the strategy investigators use to estimate these values, from the individual patient perspective it is much more relevant if investigators report both the estimated thresholds and the proportion of patients achieving that benefit.
This best practice review examines four series of common primary care questions in laboratory medicine: (i) “minor” blood platelet count and haemoglobin abnormalities; (ii) diagnosis and monitoring of anaemia caused by iron deficiency; (iii) secondary hyperlipidaemia and hypertriglyceridaemia; and (iv) glycated haemoglobin and microalbumin use in diabetes. The review is presented in question–answer format, referenced for each question series. The recommendations represent a précis of guidance found using a standardised literature search of national and international guidance notes, consensus statements, health policy documents and evidence‐based medicine reviews, supplemented by Medline Embase searches to identify relevant primary research documents. They are not standards, but form a guide to be set in the clinical context. Most of the recommendations are based on consensus rather than evidence. They will be updated periodically to take account of new information.
The quality of the EULAR recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA) was evaluated using a validated instrument. The quality and methods were compared with other guidelines and recommendations. EULAR recommendations were found to be among the best for overall quality. They show strengths with respect to scope, rigour of development, and clarity, but weaknesses with respect to stakeholder involvement, applicability, and editorial independence. However, a principal strength is their attempt to fill the gap between guidelines based solely on either research evidence or expert opinion. The methods used to synthesise research evidence (systematic review) and expert opinion (Delphi exercise) are robust. Strength of recommendation, based on combined consideration of research evidence, clinical expertise, and perceived patient preference, is valid and approaches the true essence of “evidence based practice” that considers each of these different forms of evidence.
hip; knee; osteoarthritis; EULAR; guidelines
To achieve international consensus across multiple specialties on a generic ultrasound rating scale using a Delphi technique.
Ultrasound experts from Obstetrics-Gynaecology, Surgery, Urology, Radiology, Rheumatology, Emergency Medicine, and Gastro-Enterology representing North America, Australia, and Europe were identified. A multi-round survey was conducted to obtain consensus between these experts. Of 60 invited experts, 44 experts agreed to participate in the first Delphi round, 41 remained in the second round, and 37 completed the third Delphi round. Seven key elements of the ultrasound examination were identified from existing literature and recommendations from international ultrasound societies. All experts rated the importance of these seven elements on a five-point Likert scale in the first round and suggested potential new elements for the assessment of ultrasound skills. In the second round, the experts re-rated all elements and a third round was conducted to allow final comments. Agreement on which elements to include in the final rating scale was pre-defined as more than 80% of the experts rating an element four or five, on importance to the ultrasound examination.
Two additional elements were suggested by more than 10% of the experts in the first Delphi round. Consensus was obtained to include these two new elements along with five of the original elements in the final assessment instrument: 1) Indication for the examination 2) Applied knowledge of ultrasound equipment 3) Image optimization 4) Systematic examination 5) Interpretation of images 6) Documentation of examination and 7) Medical decision making.
International multispecialty consensus was achieved on the content of a generic ultrasound rating scale. This is the first step to ensure valid assessment of clinicians in different medical specialties using ultrasound.
This fifth best practice review examines three series of common primary care questions in laboratory medicine: (1) minor liver function test abnormalities; (2) laboratory monitoring of patients receiving lithium; and (3) investigation of possible venous thromboembolism. The review is presented in question–answer format, referenced for each question series. The recommendations represent a precis of guidance found using a standardised literature search of national and international guidance notes, consensus statements, health policy documents and evidence‐based medicine reviews, supplemented by Medline Embase searches to identify relevant primary research documents. They are not standards but form a guide to be set in the clinical context. Most are consensus‐based rather than evidence‐based. They will be updated periodically to take account of new information.
This sixth best practice review examines four series of common primary care questions in laboratory medicine: (1) laboratory monitoring in hypertension and heart failure abnormalities; (2) markers of inflammatory joint disease; (3) laboratory investigation of chronic diarrhoea; and (4) mumps and chickenpox. The review is presented in question–answer format, referenced for each question series. The recommendations represent a precis of guidance found using a standardised literature search of national and international guidance notes, consensus statements, health policy documents and evidence‐based medicine reviews, supplemented by Medline Embase searches to identify relevant primary research documents. They are not standards but form a guide to be set in the clinical context. Most are consensus based rather than evidence based. They will be updated periodically to take account of new information.
This fourth best practice review examines four series of common primary care questions in laboratory medicine are examined in this review: (1) safety monitoring for three common drugs; (2) use of prostate‐specific antigen; (3) investigation of vaginal discharge; and (4) investigation of subfertility. The review is presented in question–answer format, referenced for each question series. The recommendations represent a precis of the guidance found using a standardised literature search of national and international guidance notes, consensus statements, health policy documents and evidence‐based medicine reviews, supplemented by Medline Embase searches to identify relevant primary research documents. They are not standards but form a guide to be set in the clinical context. Most of them are consensus based rather than evidence based. They will be updated periodically to take account of new information.
Evidence-based smoking cessation guidelines recommend nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), bupropion SR and varenicline as first-line therapy in combination with behavioural interventions. However, there are limited data to guide clinicians in recommending one form over another, using combinations, or matching individual smokers to particular forms.
To develop decision rules for clinicians to guide differential prescribing practices and tailoring of pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation.
A Delphi approach was used to build consensus among a panel of 37 international experts from various health disciplines. Through an iterative process, panellists responded to three rounds of questionnaires. Participants identified and ranked “best practices” used by them to tailor pharmacotherapy to aid smoking cessation. An independent panel of 10 experts provided cross-validation of findings.
There was a 100% response rate to all three rounds. A high level of consensus was achieved in determining the most important priorities: (1) factors to consider in prescribing pharmacotherapy: evidence, patient preference, patient experience; (2) combinations based on: failed attempt with monotherapy, patients with breakthrough cravings, level of tobacco dependence; (3) specific combinations, main categories: (a) two or more forms of NRT, (b) bupropion + form of NRT; (4) specific combinations, subcategories: (1a) patch + gum, (1b) patch + inhaler, (1c) patch + lozenge; (2a) bupropion + patch, (2b) bupropion + gum; (5) impact of comorbidities on selection of pharmacotherapy: contraindications, specific pharmacotherapy useful for certain comorbidities, dual purpose medications; (6) frequency of monitoring determined by patient needs and type of pharmacotherapy.
An algorithm and guide were developed to assist clinicians in prescribing pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation. There appears to be good justification for “off-label” use such as higher doses of NRT or combination therapy in certain circumstances. This practical tool reflects best evidence to date of experts in tobacco cessation.
This eighth best practice review examines four series of common primary care questions in laboratory medicine: (i) sodium abnormalities; (ii) faecal occult blood testing; (iii) warfarin management; and (iv) sputum cytology in diagnosis of bronchopulmonary malignancy. The review is presented in question–answer format, referenced for each question series. The recommendations represent a précis of guidance found using a standardised literature search of national and international guidance notes, consensus statements, health policy documents and evidence‐based medicine reviews, supplemented by Medline Embase searches to identify relevant primary research documents. They are not standards but form a guide to be set in the clinical context. Most are consensus rather than evidence‐based. They will be updated periodically to take account of new information.
Best practice; evidence‐based medicine; inter‐disciplinary; primary care
This ninth best‐practice review examines two series of common primary care questions in laboratory medicine: (i) potassium abnormalities and (ii) venous leg ulcer microbiology. The review is presented in question‐and‐answer format, referenced for each question series. The recommendations represent a précis of guidance found using a standardised literature search of national and international guidance notes, consensus statements, health policy documents and evidence‐based medicine reviews, supplemented by MEDLINE EMBASE searches to identify relevant primary research documents. They are not standards but form a guide to be set in the clinical context. Most are consensus rather than evidence‐based. They will be updated periodically to take account of new information.
best practice; primary care; interdisciplinary; evidence‐based medicine
This tenth best practice review examines four series of common primary care questions in laboratory medicine: (i) antenatal testing in pregnant women; (ii) estimated glomerular filtration rate calculation; (iii) safety testing for methotrexate; and (iv) blood glucose measurement in diabetes. The review is presented in question–answer format, referenced for each question series. The recommendations represent a précis of guidance found using a standardised literature search of national and international guidance notes, consensus statements, health policy documents and evidence‐based medicine reviews, supplemented by Medline Embase searches to identify relevant primary research documents. They are not standards but form a guide to be set in the clinical context. Most are consensus rather than evidence‐based. They will be updated periodically to take account of new information.
best practice; evidence‐based medicine; interdisciplinary; primary care