The Orsiro Hybrid sirolimus-eluting stent is a newly developed third-generation drug-eluting stent, featuring a unique dual-polymer mix. An active bioabsorbable polymer delivers the anti-proliferative drug, sirolimus, via controlled release, while a passive biocompatible polymeric coating shields the metallic strut from surrounding tissue, preventing interaction. To date, the Orsiro Hybrid sirolimus-eluting stent has excelled in terms of late lumen loss at 9 months in a first-in-man single-arm trial. However, the efficacy and safety data for Orsiro Hybrid sirolimus-eluting stents in a broader population of all-comers are limited. The present study offers an angiographic and clinical comparison of the Orsiro Hybrid sirolimus-eluting stent and the Resolute Integrity zotarolimus-eluting stent in the treatment of patients with coronary artery disease.
The ORIENT trial is a multicenter, randomized, open-label, parallel-arm study designed to demonstrate the non-inferiority of the Orsiro Hybrid sirolimus-eluting stent relative to the Resolute Integrity zotarolimus-eluting stent. A total of 375 patients with a spectrum of coronary artery disease will undergo prospective, random assignment to a Orsiro Hybrid sirolimus-eluting stent or Resolute Integrity zotarolimus-eluting stent (2:1 ratio), for a primary endpoint of in-stent late lumen loss at 9 months by quantitative coronary angiography. Secondary 12-month clinical endpoints are death, target lesion revascularization, target vessel revascularization, myocardial infarction, stent thrombosis and target lesion failure (a composite of cardiac death, target lesion revascularization and target vessel-related myocardial infarction).
The ORIENT trial is the first study to date comparing the Orsiro Hybrid sirolimus-eluting stent with the Resolute Integrity zotarolimus-eluting stent for efficacy and safety in a population of all-comers with coronary artery disease.
Drug-eluting stent; Orsiro hybrid stent; Zotarolimus-eluting stent; Coronary heart disease
There is growing recognition of a syndrome of disturbed grief referred to as prolonged grief disorder (PGD). PGD is mostly studied in adults, but clinically significant PGD symptoms have also been observed in children and adolescents. Yet, to date no effective treatment for childhood PGD exists. The aims of this study are: (1) to investigate the effectiveness of Grief-Help, a nine-session cognitive-behavioural treatment for childhood PGD, combined with five sessions of parental counselling, immediately after the treatment and at three, six and twelve months follow-up; (2) to examine tentative mediators of the effects of Grief-Help, (i.e., maladaptive cognitions and behaviours and positive parenting), and (3) to determine whether demographic variables, child personality, as well as symptoms of PGD, anxiety, and depression in parents moderate the treatment effectiveness.
We will conduct a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) in which 160 children and adolescents aged 8–18 years are randomly allocated to cognitive behavioural Grief-Help or to a supportive counselling intervention; both treatments are combined with five sessions of parental counselling. We will recruit participants from clinics for mental health in the Netherlands. The primary outcome measure will be the severity of Prolonged Grief Disorder symptoms according to the Inventory of Prolonged Grief for Children (IPG-C). Secondary outcomes will include PTSD, depression and parent-rated internalizing and externalizing problems. Mediators like positive parenting and maladaptive cognitions and behaviours will be identified. We will also examine possible moderators including demographic variables (e.g. time since loss, cause of death), psychopathology symptoms in parents (PGD, anxiety and depression) and child personality. Assessments will take place in both groups at baseline, after the treatment-phase and three, six and twelve months after the post-treatment assessment.
We aim to contribute to the improvement of mental health care for children and adolescents suffering from loss. By comparing Grief-Help with supportive counselling, and by investigating mediators and moderators of its effectiveness we hope to provide new insights in the effects of interventions for bereaved children, and their mechanisms of change.
Netherlands Trial Register NTR3854
Adolescents; Children; Cognitive-behavioural treatment; Prolonged grief disorder; Randomised controlled trial
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing worldwide and has been associated with adverse perinatal outcomes and high risk for chronic disease both for the mother and for the child. Physical exercise is feasible for diabetic pregnant women and contributes to better glycemic control and to a decrease in adverse perinatal outcomes. However, there are no randomized controlled trials (RCT) assessing the effects of aquatic physical exercise on GDM control and adverse maternal and fetal outcomes.
An RCT will be conducted at Instituto de Medicina Integral Prof Fernando Figueira (IMIP), Brazil. A total of 72 pregnant women will be studied; 36 gestational diabetics will undergo an aquatic physical exercise program in a thermal pool, 3 times per week over 2 months. The primary endpoint will be glucose level control and use of insulin; secondary endpoints will be the following maternal and fetal outcomes: weight gain during pregnancy, blood pressure, pre-eclampsia diagnosis, intrauterus growth restriction, preterm birth, Cesarean section, macrosomia and maternal or neonatal intensive care admission. Endpoints between intervention and control group will analyzed by t test for unpaired data and χ2 test, and the level of significance will set at <0.05.
The physical proprieties of water make aquatic exercises ideal for pregnant women. An aquatic physical exercise program developed for GDM women will be trialed in a thermal pool and under the supervision of physiotherapist to ensure compliance. It is expected that this study will provide evidence as to the effect of aquatic physical exercise on GDM control.
Aquatic physical exercise; Gestational diabetes mellitus
Obesity affects 25% of the UK adult population but modest weight loss can reduce the incidence of obesity-related chronic disease. Some effective weight loss treatments exist but there is no nationally available National Health Service (NHS) treatment service, and general practitioners (GPs) rarely discuss weight management with patients or support behavior change. Evidence shows that commercial weight management services, that most primary care trusts have 'on prescription', are more effective than primary care treatment.
We propose a controlled trial where patients will be randomized to receive either the offer of help by referral to a weight management service and follow-up to assess progress, or advice to lose weight on medical grounds. The primary outcome will be weight change at 12-months. Other questions are: what actions do people take to manage their weight in response to the two GP intervention types? How do obese patients feel about GPs opportunistically discussing weight management and how does this vary by intervention type? How do GPs feel about raising the issue opportunistically and giving the two types of brief intervention? What is the cost per kg/m2 lost for each intervention? Research assistants visiting GP practices in England (n = 60) would objectively measure weight and height prior to GP consultations and randomize willing patients (body mass index 30+, excess body fat, 18+ years) using sealed envelopes. Full recruitment (n = 1824) is feasible in 46 weeks, requiring six sessions of advice-giving per GP. Participants will be contacted at 3 months (postintervention) via telephone to identify actions they have taken to manage their weight. We will book appointments for participants to be seen at their GP practice for a 12-month follow-up.
Trial results could make the case for brief interventions for obese people consulting their GP and introduce widespread simple treatments akin to the NHS Stop Smoking Service. Likewise, the intervention could be introduced in the Quality and Outcomes Framework and influence practice worldwide.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN26563137.
Obesity; Brief intervention; Weight management; Primary care; Commercial weight management services
A response to and comment on Practical methods for incorporating summary time-to-event data into meta-analysis, by Jayne F Tierney et al.
Successful recruitment of participants to any trial is central to its success. Trial results are routinely published, and recruitment is often cited to be slower and more difficult than anticipated. This article reflects on the methodological challenges of recruiting women with prolapse attending United Kingdom (UK) gynaecology outpatient clinics to a multi-centre randomised controlled trial (RCT) of physiotherapy, and the systems put in place in an attempt to address them.
Gynaecology outpatients with symptomatic prolapse were to be recruited over a 16-month period from 14 UK hospitals and one New Zealand hospital. Eligible women were informed about the trial by their gynaecologist and informed consent was obtained by the central trial office. Recruitment difficulties were encountered early on, and a number of strategies were employed to try to improve recruitment.
Some strategies were more successful than others and they differed in the resources required. Actions that facilitated recruitment included increasing recruiting centres to 23 UK and two international hospitals, good centre support, using processes embedded in clinical practice, and good communication between the trial office, collaborators and participants. Collaborator incentives, whereby staff involved received the benefit immediately, were more successful than a nominal monetary payment per woman randomised. Barriers to recruitment included fewer eligible women than anticipated, patient’s preference to receive active treatment rather than allocation to the control group, lack of support staff and high staff turnover. Geographical variations in Primary Care Trust Research Management and Governance approval systems and general practitioner (GP) referral procedures also impacted negatively on recruitment.
Our article reflects on the methodological challenges of recruiting to a multi-centre RCT in a UK gynaecology setting. Effective interventions included increasing the number of recruiting centres and providing collaborator incentives. Barriers to recruitment included fewer eligible women than anticipated, patient’s preference to be allocated to the treatment group, lack of support staff, and variations in approval systems and GP referral procedures. To improve the evidence base on clinical trial recruitment, trialists need to publish their experiences and lessons learned. Future RCTs should evaluate, where possible, the effect of strategies designed to improve recruitment and retention.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN35911035
Randomised controlled trial; Recruitment; Barriers; Gynaecology
Age-related muscle loss (that is, sarcopenia) is a common health problem among older people. Physical exercise and dietary protein have been emphasized in prevention and treatment of sarcopenia. Rigorous trials investigating the effects of protein supplementation on physical performance in sarcopenic populations are still scarce. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of protein supplementation along with simple home-based exercises on physical performance among home-dwelling sarcopenic older people.
During 2012 the entire 75 and older population (N = 3,275) living in Porvoo, Finland was contacted via a postal questionnaire. Persons at risk of sarcopenia are screened with hand grip strength and gait speed. Poorly performing persons are further examined by segmental bioimpendance spectroscopy to determine their skeletal muscle index. Sarcopenic patients (target N = 250) will be enrolled in a 12-month randomized controlled trial with three arms: 1) no supplementation, 2) protein supplementation (20 grams twice a day), and 3) isocaloric placebo. All the participants will receive instructions on simple home-based exercises, dietary protein, and vitamin D supplementation (20 μg/d). The recruitment of patients will be completed during 2013. The primary endpoint of the trial is the change in short physical performance battery score and percentage of patients maintaining or improving their physical performance. Secondary endpoints will be, among other things, changes in muscle functions, nutritional status, body composition, cognition, quality of life, use of health care services, falls, and mortality. The assessment times will be 0, 6, 12 and 24 months.
To our knowledge, this is the first large scale randomized controlled trial among community dwelling older people with sarcopenia that focuses on the effects of protein supplementation on physical performance.
ACTRN12612001253897, date of registration 28 October 2012, first patient was randomized 11 April 2012.
Sarcopenia; Frailty; Cachexia; Older people; Community-dwelling; Randomized controlled trial
Isolated systolic hypertension is a highly prevalent disease among the elderly. The little available evidence on the efficacy of nitrates for treating the disease is based on small experimental studies.
We performed a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, phase III, placebo-controlled trial in 154 patients aged over 65 years with refractory isolated systolic hypertension. Patients were randomized to placebo or 40 mg/day of extended-release isosorbide mononitrate added to standard therapy and titrated to 60 mg/day at week 6 if blood pressure exceeded 140/90 mmHg.
The primary objective was to assess the effect on clinical pulse pressure of extended-release isosorbide mononitrate added to standard therapy in patients aged over 65 years with refractory isolated systolic hypertension after 3 months of treatment.
The secondary objectives were as follows: to quantify the effect of adding the study drug on central blood pressure and vascular compliance using the augmentation index and pulse wave velocity; to evaluate the safety profile by recording adverse effects (frequency, type, severity) and the percentage of patients who had to withdraw from the trial because of adverse events; to quantify the percentage of patients who reach a clinical systolic blood pressure <140 mmHg or <130 mmHg measured by ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; and to quantify the change in pulse pressure measured by ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.
Few clinical trials have been carried out to test the effect of oral nitrates on isolated systolic hypertension, even though these agents seem to be effective. Treatment with extended-release isosorbide mononitrate could improve control of systolic blood pressure without severe side effects, thus helping to reduce the morbidity and mortality of the disease.
EUDRACT Number: 2012-002988-10
Hypertension; Nitrates; Older people; Systolic-hypertension
Osteoarthritis is a relatively common musculoskeletal disorder that increases in prevalence with age. Worldwide, knee osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of disability, particularly in the elderly. In numerous trials of agents for long-term pain therapy, no well-established and replicable results have been achieved. Complementary and alternative medical approaches have been employed for thousands of years to relieve knee osteoarthritis pain. Among herbal medicines, the golden plaster is the preferred and most commonlyused method in China to reduce pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis, as it causes few adverse effects. The purpose of this study will be to evaluate the efficacy and safety of golden plaster on pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
This study will be a multicenter randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. A total of 320 participants aged 45 to 79 years with knee osteoarthritis, whose scores on a visual analog scale (VAS) are more than 20 mm,will be randomly allocated into a treatment group and a control group. A golden plaster will be administered externally to participants in the treatment group for 2 weeks, while the control group will receive a placebo plaster externally for 2 weeks. Follow-up will be at regular intervals during a 4-week period with a VAS score for pain, quality of life, and complications.
This study will be a methodologically sound randomized controlled trial to assess pain relief after the intervention of golden plaster, compared to a placebo intervention in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: ChiCTR-TRC-13003418
Clinical trials; Golden plaster; Knee osteoarthritis; Visual analog scale
There is increasing community and government recognition of the magnitude and impact of adolescent depression. Family based interventions have significant potential to address known risk factors for adolescent depression and could be an effective way of engaging adolescents in treatment. The evidence for family based treatments of adolescent depression is not well developed. The objective of this clinical trial is to determine whether a family based intervention can reduce rates of unipolar depressive disorders in adolescents, improve family functioning and engage adolescents who are reluctant to access mental health services.
The Family Options study will determine whether a manualized family based intervention designed to target both individual and family based factors in adolescent depression (BEST MOOD) will be more effective in reducing unipolar depressive disorders than an active (standard practice) control condition consisting of a parenting group using supportive techniques (PAST). The study is a multicenter effectiveness randomized controlled trial. Both interventions are delivered in group format over eight weekly sessions, of two hours per session. We will recruit 160 adolescents (12 to 18 years old) and their families, randomized equally to each treatment condition. Participants will be assessed at baseline, eight weeks and 20 weeks. Assessment of eligibility and primary outcome will be conducted using the KID-SCID structured clinical interview via adolescent and parent self-report. Assessments of family mental health, functioning and therapeutic processes will also be conducted. Data will be analyzed using Multilevel Mixed Modeling accounting for time x treatment effects and random effects for group and family characteristics. This trial is currently recruiting. Challenges in design and implementation to-date are discussed. These include diagnosis and differential diagnosis of mental disorders in the context of adolescent development, non-compliance of adolescents with requirements of assessment, questionnaire completion and treatment attendance, breaking randomization, and measuring the complexity of change in the context of a family-based intervention.
Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Title: engaging youth with high prevalence mental health problems using family based interventions; number 12612000398808. Prospectively registered on 10 April 2012.
Depression; Adolescents; Family-based interventions; Youth mental health; Randomised clinical trial
A new model of complex diabetes care is provided by a multidisciplinary team which incorporates general practitioner (GP) Clinical Fellows supported by an Endocrinologist and diabetes educator within a community-based general practice setting. This study evaluates the health and clinical benefits of the new model of care, assesses the acceptability of the model to patients, GPs and other health professionals, and examines the cost-effectiveness of the model.
The study is an open, non-inferiority randomised controlled trial with data collected at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Participants are identified from new patients on hospital-based diabetes outpatient clinic waiting lists and new GP referrals. Eligible consenting patients are randomised to either a community practice site (intervention) or a hospital site (usual care). In the intervention model, medical care is led by a GP Clinical Fellow in partnership with an Endocrinologist. Quantitative measures include clinical indicators with HbA1c as the primary outcome; patient-reported outcomes include health-related quality of life, mental health and satisfaction with care. Qualitative methods will be used to explore the perspectives and experiences of patients and providers regarding the new model of care. An economic evaluation will also be undertaken.
This model of care seeks to improve the quality and safety of healthcare at the interface between the hospital and primary care sectors for patients with complex diabetes. The study will provide empirical evidence about the impact of the model of care on health outcomes, patient and clinician satisfaction, as well as any economic impacts.
Clinical Trials Registry Number:
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Model of care; Randomised controlled trial; Intervention; Usual care
Clinicians face challenges in promoting colorectal cancer screening due to multiple competing demands. A decision aid that clarifies patient preferences and improves decision quality can aid shared decision making and be effective at increasing colorectal cancer screening rates. However, exactly how such an intervention improves shared decision making is unclear. This study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, seeks to provide detailed understanding of how an interactive decision aid that elicits patient’s risks and preferences impacts patient-clinician communication and shared decision making, and ultimately colorectal cancer screening adherence.
This is a two-armed single-blinded randomized controlled trial with the target of 300 patients per arm. The setting is eleven community and three academic primary care practices in Metro Detroit. Patients are men and women aged between 50 and 75 years who are not up to date on colorectal cancer screening. ColoDATES Web (intervention arm), a decision aid that incorporates interactive personal risk assessment and preference clarification tools, is compared to a non-interactive website that matches ColoDATES Web in content but does not contain interactive tools (control arm). Primary outcomes are patient uptake of colorectal cancer screening; patient decision quality (knowledge, preference clarification, intent); clinician’s degree of shared decision making; and patient-clinician concordance in the screening test chosen. Secondary outcome incorporates a Structural Equation Modeling approach to understand the mechanism of the causal pathway and test the validity of the proposed conceptual model based on Theory of Planned Behavior. Clinicians and those performing the analysis are blinded to arms.
The central hypothesis is that ColoDATES Web will improve colorectal cancer screening adherence through improvement in patient behavioral factors, shared decision making between the patient and the clinician, and concordance between the patient’s and clinician’s preferred colorectal cancer screening test. The results of this study will be among the first to examine the effect of a real-time preference assessment exercise on colorectal cancer screening and mediators, and, in doing so, will shed light on the patient-clinician communication and shared decision making ‘black box’ that currently exists between the delivery of decision aids to patients and subsequent patient behavior.
ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT01514786
Colorectal neoplasms; Early detection of cancer; Cancer screening; Decision aids; Decision support techniques; Decision making; Shared; Health communication
To strengthen suicide prevention skills in mental health care in The Netherlands, multidisciplinary teams throughout the country are trained in the application of the new Dutch guideline on the assessment and treatment of suicidal behavior. Previous studies have shown beneficial effects of additional efforts for guideline implementation on professionals’ attitude, knowledge, and skills. However, the effects on patients are equally important, but are rarely measured. The main objective of this study is to examine whether patients of multidisciplinary teams who are trained in guideline application show greater recovery from suicide ideation than patients of untrained teams.
This is a multicentre cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT), in which multidisciplinary teams from mental health care institutions are matched in pairs, and randomly allocated to either the experimental or control condition. In the experimental condition, next to the usual dissemination of the guideline (internet, newsletter, books, publications, and congresses), teams will be trained in the application of the guideline via a 1-day small interactive group training program supported by e-learning modules. In the control condition, no additional actions next to usual dissemination of the guideline will be undertaken.
Assessments at patient level will start when the experimental teams are trained. Assessments will take place upon admission and after 3 months, or earlier if the patient is discharged. The primary outcome is suicide ideation. Secondary outcomes are non-fatal suicide attempts, level of treatment satisfaction, and societal costs. Both a cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis will be performed. The effects of the intervention will be examined in multilevel models.
The strengths of this study are the size of the study, RCT design, training of complete multidisciplinary teams, and the willingness of both management and staff to participate.
Netherlands trial register: NTR3092
Suicide prevention; Suicidal behavior; Guideline application; Implementation; Cost-effectiveness; Cost-utility; Multicentre; E-learning; Train-the-trainer; Professionals
Menstrual-related migraine is a common form of migraine affecting >50% of female migraineurs. Acupuncture may be a choice for menstrual-related migraine, when pharmacological prophylaxis is not suitable. However, the efficacy of acupuncture has not been confirmed. We design and perform a randomized controlled clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture compared with naproxen in menstrual-related migraine patients.
This is a multicenter, single blind, randomized controlled clinical trial. A total of 184 participants will be randomly assigned to two different groups. Participants will receive verum acupuncture and placebo medicine in the treatment group, while participants in the control group will be treated with sham acupuncture and medicine (Naproxen Sustained Release Tablets). All treatments will be given for 3 months (menstrual cycles).
The primary outcome measures are the change of migraine days inside the menstrual cycle and the proportion of responders (defined as the proportion of patients with at least a 50% reduction in the number of menstrual migraine days). The secondary outcome measures are the change of migraine days outside the menstrual cycle, duration of migraine attack, the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), and intake of acute medication. The assessment will be made at baseline (before treatment), 3 months (menstrual cycles), and 4 months (menstrual cycles) after the first acupuncture session.
The results of this trial will be helpful to supply the efficacy of acupuncture for menstrual-related migraine prophylaxis.
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been shown to modulate the inflammatory process without adverse effects , by reducing pain and swelling and promoting the repair of damaged tissues. Because pain, swelling and muscle spasm are complications found in virtually all patients following oral surgery for the removal of impacted teeth, this model has been widely used to evaluate the effects of LLLT on the inflammatory process involving bone and, connective tissue and the muscles involved in mastication.
After meeting the eligibility criteria, 60 patients treated at a Specialty Dental Center for the removal of impacted lower third molars will be randomly divided into five groups according to the type of laser therapy used at the end of surgery (intraoral irradiation with 660 nm laser; extraoral irradiation with 660 nm laser; intraoral irradiation with 808 nm laser; extraoral irradiation with 808 nm laser and no irradiation). To ensure that patients are blinded to the type of treatment they are receiving, the hand piece of the laser apparatus will be applied both intraorally and extraorally to all participants, but the device will be turned on only at the appropriate time, as determined by the randomization process. At 2 and 7 days after surgery, the patients will be evaluated by three blinded evaluators who will measure of swelling, mouth opening (muscle spasm evaluation) and pain (using two different pain scales). The 14-item Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14) will be used to assess QOL. All data will be analyzed with respect to the normality of distribution using the Shapiro-Wilk test. Statistically significant differences between the experimental groups will be determined using analysis of variance, followed by a suitable post hoc test, when necessary. The significance level will be set at α = 0.05.
The lack of standardization in studies with regard to the samples, methods and LLLT parameters complicates the determination of the actual effect of laser therapy on this model. The present study aims to provide a randomized, controlled, double-blind trial to compare four different LLLT parameters in relation to the outcomes of pain, swelling and muscle spasm following surgery for the extraction of impacted third molars and evaluate the effects os surgery on patients' quality os life (QOL).
Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials - Rebec (RBR-6XSB5H).
Laser; Inflammation; Repair; Tooth extraction; Randomized controlled trial
Spin in the reporting of randomized controlled trials, where authors report research in a way that potentially misrepresents results and mislead readers, has been demonstrated in the broader medical literature. We investigated spin in wound care trials with (a) no statistically significant result for the primary outcome and (b) no clearly specified primary outcome.
We searched the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register of Trials for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Eligible studies were: Parallel-group RCTs of interventions for foot, leg or pressure ulcers published in 2004 to 2009 (inclusive) with either a clearly identified primary outcome for which there was a statistically non-significant result (Cohort A) or studies that had no clear primary outcome (Cohort B).
We extracted general study details. For both Cohorts A and B we then assessed for the presence of spin. For Cohort A we used a pre-defined process to assess reports for spin. For Cohort B we aimed to assess spin by recording the number of positive treatment effect claims made. We also compared the number of statistically significant and non-significant results reported in the main text and the abstract looking specifically for spin in the form of selective outcome reporting.
Of the 71 eligible studies, 28 were eligible for Cohort A; of these, 71% (20/28) contained spin. Cohort B contained 43 studies; of these, 86% (37/43) had abstracts that claimed a favorable treatment claim. Whilst 74% (32/43) of main text results in Cohort B included at least one statistically non-significant result, this was not reflected in the abstract where only 28% contained (12/43) at least one statistically non-significant result.
Spin is a frequent phenomenon in reports of RCTs of wound treatments. Studies without statistically significant results for the primary outcome used spin in 71% of cases. Furthermore, 33% (43/132) of reports of wound RCTs did not specify a primary outcome and there was evidence of spin and selective outcome reporting in the abstracts of these. Readers should be wary of only reading the abstracts of reports of RCTs of wound treatments since they are frequently misleading regarding treatment effects.
Wound care; Randomized controlled trials; Bias; Industry funding
In pressure support ventilation (PSV), a non-variable level of pressure support is delivered by the ventilator when triggered by the patient. In contrast, variable PSV delivers a level of pressure support that varies in a random fashion, introducing more physiological variability to the respiratory pattern. Experimental studies show that variable PSV improves gas exchange, reduces lung inflammation and the mean pressure support, compared to non-variable PSV. Thus, it can theoretically shorten weaning from the mechanical ventilator.
The ViPS (variable pressure support) trial is an international investigator-initiated multicenter randomized controlled open trial comparing variable vs. non-variable PSV. Adult patients on controlled mechanical ventilation for more than 24 hours who are ready to be weaned are eligible for the study. The randomization sequence is blocked per center and performed using a web-based platform. Patients are randomly assigned to one of the two groups: variable PSV or non-variable PSV. In non-variable PSV, breath-by-breath pressure support is kept constant and targeted to achieve a tidal volume of 6 to 8 ml/kg. In variable PSV, the mean pressure support level over a specific time period is targeted at the same mean tidal volume as non-variable PSV, but individual levels vary randomly breath-by-breath. The primary endpoint of the trial is the time to successful weaning, defined as the time from randomization to successful extubation.
ViPS is the first randomized controlled trial investigating whether variable, compared to non-variable PSV, shortens the duration of weaning from mechanical ventilation in a mixed population of critically ill patients. This trial aims to determine the role of variable PSV in the intensive care unit.
Mechanical ventilation; Weaning; Pressure support ventilation; Variable ventilation; Intensive care unit; Critical care
Recruitment of pregnant women in labour to clinical trials poses particular challenges. Interpretation of regulation lacks consistency or clarity and variation occurs as to the training required by clinicians to safely contribute to the conduct of intrapartum studies. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Intrapartum Clinical Study Group initiated the development of a pragmatic, proportionate and standardised toolkit for training clinical staff that complies with both regulatory and clinician requirements and has been peer-reviewed. This approach may be useful to researchers in acute care settings that necessitate the integration of research, routine clinical practice and compliance with regulation.
Research training; Regulatory requirements
The instant-treatment effect of acupuncture for patients with migraines has been corroborated in numerous studies. However, most diseases are chronic and tend to recur, so the long-term effect of acupuncture can verify the existence of sustained efficacy or the placebo effect. Evaluating the efficacy of acupuncture in the prophylaxis of migraine without aura (MWoA) in China is also important because such studies are lacking.
This trial is a multicenter, prospective, pragmatic randomized controlled clinical trial. We will randomly allocate 249 participants to three groups of 83. Patients in the individualized acupoint group will be treated with individualized acupuncture point prescriptions. The non-acupoint control group will undergo insertion of acupuncture needles at four bilateral non-points in locations not corresponding to acupuncture points. The waiting-list control group will not undergo treatment but instead will receive 20 acupuncture treatments for free after a waiting period of 24 weeks. Participants in the individualized acupoint group and non-acupoint control group will receive 20 sessions over four weeks and then all participants will receive 20 weeks of follow-up.
The results of our trial will help to supply evidence for the long-term acupuncture effect for MWoA in a long follow-up period, and special attention will be paid to comparison with the placebo effect.
The trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01687660) on 18 September 2012.
Study protocol; Pragmatic randomized controlled trial; Acupuncture; Migraine without aura
At present, the design of an ideal placebo control in acupuncture studies challenges researchers. Previously devised sham acupuncture techniques have reported various imperfections; therefore, the specific effects of acupuncture cannot be accurately examined in clinical trials primarily because of interferences from the placebo effects.
Guided by evidence-based medicine (EBM) theories, we have made an initial attempt to establish a set of control methods for use in acupuncture studies, which is named the target disease-guided placebo-controlled (TIGER) design. In a trial using the TIGER design, participants suffering simultaneously from a predefined target disease and a pseudo target disease will be recruited and randomized to receive identical acupuncture intervention measures. As a result, the interventions not only appear the same but also produce the same stimulations in both groups. The patients in the treatment group will be informed of the actual target disease that the treatment aims for, whereas patients in the control group will be informed that the treatment is for the pseudotarget disease. It is speculated that no psychological response will be aroused in the control group. During data analysis, changes in the outcome measures of the patients in the control groupreveal the real therapeutic effect of acupuncture, and those of patients in the treatment group show both the real and placebo acupuncture effect. In this article, we explain how to put this design into use in a planned randomized clinical trial of acupuncture for the treatment of migraine.
This approach can eliminate the acupuncture placebo effect in the control group that may confound trial results. It is possible to observe the specific and placebo effects of acupuncture for the target disease separately using the TIGER design.
The proposed TIGER design has limitations. It is designed for clinical studies focusing on the specific effects of acupuncture, and it needs to be tested and verified for practicality and feasibility in various clinical research settings.
Placebo design; Acupuncture; Clinical trials; Target disease
The two-stage tissue expander/implant (TE/I) reconstruction is currently the gold standard method of implant-based immediate breast reconstruction in North America. Recently, however, there have been numerous case series describing the use of one-stage direct to implant reconstruction with the aid of acellular dermal matrix (ADM). In order to rigorously investigate the novel application of ADM in one-stage implant reconstruction, we are currently conducting a multicentre randomized controlled trial (RCT) designed to evaluate the impact on patient satisfaction and quality of life (QOL) compared to the two-stage TE/I technique.
The MCCAT study is a multicenter Canadian ADM trial designed as a two-arm parallel superiority trial that will compare ADM-facilitated one-stage implant reconstruction compared to two-stage TE/I reconstruction following skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM) or nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) at 2 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months. The source population will be members of the mastectomy cohort with stage T0 to TII disease, proficient in English, over the age of 18 years, and planning to undergo SSM or NSM with immediate implant breast reconstruction. Stratified randomization will maintain a balanced distribution of important prognostic factors (study site and unilateral versus bilateral procedures). The primary outcome is patient satisfaction and QOL as measured by the validated and procedure-specific BREAST-Q. Secondary outcomes include short- and long-term complications, long-term aesthetic outcomes using five standardized photographs graded by three independent blinded observers, and a cost effectiveness analysis.
There is tremendous interest in using ADM in implant breast reconstruction, particularly in the setting of one-stage direct to implant reconstruction where it was previously not possible without the intermediary use of a temporary tissue expander (TE). This unique advantage has led many patients and surgeons alike to believe that one-stage ADM-assisted implant reconstruction should be the procedure of choice and should be offered to patients as the first-line treatment. We argue that it is crucial that this technique be scientifically evaluated in terms of patient selection, surgical technique, complications, aesthetic outcomes, cost-effectiveness, and most importantly patient-reported outcomes before it is promoted as the new gold standard in implant-based breast reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction; Implant; Acellular dermal matrix; One-stage; Tissue expander
Current Medical Research Council (MRC) guidance on complex interventions advocates pilot trials and feasibility studies as part of a phased approach to the development, testing, and evaluation of healthcare interventions. In this paper we discuss the results of a recent feasibility study and pilot trial for a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of pelvic floor muscle training for prolapse (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01136889). The ways in which researchers decide to respond to the results of feasibility work may have significant repercussions for both the nature and degree of tension between internal and external validity in a definitive trial.
We used methodological issues to classify and analyze the problems that arose in the feasibility study. Four centers participated with the aim of randomizing 50 women. Women were eligible if they had prolapse of any type, of stage I to IV, and had a pessary successfully fitted. Postal questionnaires were administered at baseline, 6 months, and 7 months post-randomization. After identifying problems arising within the pilot study we then sought to locate potential solutions that might minimize the trade-off between a subsequent explanatory versus pragmatic trial.
The feasibility study pointed to significant potential problems in relation to participant recruitment, features of the intervention, acceptability of the intervention to participants, and outcome measurement. Finding minimal evidence to support our decision-making regarding the transition from feasibility work to a trial, we developed a systematic process (A process for Decision-making after Pilot and feasibility Trials (ADePT)) which we subsequently used as a guide. The process sought to: 1) encourage the systematic identification and appraisal of problems and potential solutions; 2) improve the transparency of decision-making processes; and 3) reveal the tensions that exist between pragmatic and explanatory choices.
We have developed a process that may aid researchers in their attempt to identify the most appropriate solutions to problems identified within future pilot and feasibility RCTs. The process includes three key steps: a decision about the type of problem, the identification of all solutions (whether addressed within the intervention, trial design or clinical context), and a systematic appraisal of these solutions.
Complex intervention; Pilot trial; Feasibility study; Methodology; Pelvic organ prolapse
Pre-operative airway assessment in Denmark is based on a non-specific clinical assessment. Systematic, evidence-based and consistent airway assessment may reduce the incidence of unanticipated difficult airway management. By assessing multiple predictors for difficult airway management, the predictive value of the assessment increases. The Simplified Airway Risk Index (SARI) is a multivariate risk score for predicting difficult intubation.
This study aims to compare the use of the SARI with a non-specified clinical airway assessment on predicting difficult intubation. Further, to compare the examination and registration of predictors for difficult mask ventilation with a non-specified clinical airway assessment on prediction of difficult mask ventilation.
We cluster-randomized 28 Danish departments of anaesthesia to airway assessment either by the SARI or by usual non-specific assessment. Data from patients’ pre-operative airway assessment are registered in the Danish Anaesthesia Database. Objective scores for intubation and mask ventilation grade the severity of airway managements. The accuracy of predicting difficult intubation and mask ventilation is measured for each group. The primary outcome measure is the fraction of unanticipated difficult and easy intubation.
The fraction of unanticipated difficult intubation in Denmark is 1.87%. With a stratified randomization, type 1 error risk of 5% and a power of 80%, 30 departments are required to detect or reject a 30% relative risk reduction equalling a number needed to treat of 180. Sample size estimation is adjusted for the study design and based on standards for randomization on cluster-level. With an average cluster size of 2,500 patients, 70,000 patients will be enrolled over a 1-year trial period. The database is programmed so that registration of the SARI and predictors for difficult mask ventilation are mandatory for the intervention group but invisible to controls.
It is innovative to use a national clinical database as the basis for a randomized clinical trial. The method can serve as a precedent for implementation of evidence-based recommendations and database registration.
The trial will forward understanding of how to predict and reduce unanticipated difficult airways and how to produce evidence-based recommendations for airway assessment and clinical database development.
Airway management; Cluster analysis; Difficult intubation; Randomized controlled trials; Sensitivity; Specificity
Functional constipation (FC) is highly prevalent in the general population of the world and has a substantial negative impact on the health-related quality of life of individuals. Many clinical trials have indicated that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of FC. However, the sample sizes of these previous studies were too small. Furthermore, there are no reports investigating the relationship between the stimulation parameter and the therapeutic effect. We therefore designed a multicenter randomized controlled trial to address these problems and hopefully provide a more conclusive answer to these questions.
Participants will be included if they meet all of the following conditions: (1) diagnosed with functional constipation according to the Roman III standard; (2) aged between 18 and 65 years; (3) not taking any drugs that promote gastrointestinal movements at least during the 1 week prior to randomization; (3) willing to sign an informed consent form; (4) willing to return to the study site for their study visits. The participants will be randomly assigned to three groups in a 1:1:1 ratio: high current intensity group, low current intensity group, and mosapride citrate control group. The total study period is 9 weeks for each patient, 1 week for baseline, 4 weeks for treatment, and 4 weeks for follow-up. The primary outcome in this trial is the number of defecating events per week. The secondary outcomes will include the shape and properties of the stool, intensity of defecating difficulty, Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life (PAC-QOL), MOS item Short Form health survey (SF-36), Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS).
This study will provide significant evidence for the application of acupuncture in FC and will identify a suitable stimulation parameter for treatment.
ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT01274793.
Acupuncture; Functional constipation; Study protocol
Respiratory support following postoperative extubation is of major importance to prevent hypoxemia and subsequent respiratory failure and reintubation. High-flow nasal cannula oxygen (HFNC) delivers a flow-dependent positive airway pressure and improves oxygenation by increasing end-expiratory lung volume. Whether application of HFNC may have therapeutic advantages over conventional oxygen therapy for respiratory support in the early postextubation surgical period remains to be established.
The Optiflow for prevention of post-extubation hypoxemia after abdominal surgery (OPERA) trial is an investigator-initiated multicenter randomized controlled two-arm trial with assessor-blinded outcome assessment, randomizing 220 patients with intermediate to high risk of pulmonary complications after abdominal surgery to receive HFNC or conventional oxygen therapy following extubation, stratified by the presence of epidural analgesia and center. The primary outcome measure is the percentage of patients with postoperative hypoxemia one hour after tracheal extubation. Secondary outcome measures are postoperative pulmonary complications, need for noninvasive ventilation and intubation for respiratory failure.
The OPERA trial is the first randomized controlled study powered to investigate whether early application of HFNC following extubation after abdominal surgery prevents against postoperative hypoxemia and pulmonary complications.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01887015.
Postoperative hypoxemia; Oxygen therapy; Postoperative pulmonary complications; Abdominal surgery; Noninvasive respiratory support