Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-5 (5)

Clipboard (0)
more »
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Challenges in diagnostic accuracy studies in primary care: the fecal calprotectin example 
BMC Family Practice  2013;14:179.
Low disease prevalence and lack of uniform reference standards in primary care induce methodological challenges for investigating the diagnostic accuracy of a test. We present a study design that copes with these methodological challenges and discuss the methodological implications of our choices, using a quality assessment tool for diagnostic accuracy studies (QUADAS-2).
The study investigates the diagnostic value of fecal calprotectin for detecting inflammatory bowel disease in children presenting with chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in primary care. It is a prospective cohort study including two cohorts of children: one cohort will be recruited in primary care and the other in secondary/tertiary care. Test results of fecal calprotectin will be compared to one of the two reference standards for inflammatory bowel disease: endoscopy with histopathological examination of mucosal biopsies or assessment of clinical symptoms at 1-year follow-up.
According to QUADAS-2 the use of two reference standards and the recruitment of patients in two populations may cause differential verification bias and spectrum bias, respectively. The clinical relevance of this potential bias and methods to adjust for this are presented. This study illustrates the importance of awareness of the different kinds of bias that result from choices in the design phase of a diagnostic study in a low prevalence setting. This approach is exemplary for other diagnostic research in primary care.
PMCID: PMC4222604  PMID: 24274463
Primary care; Risk of bias; diagnostic research; Calprotectin; Inflammatory bowel disease
2.  Guidelines on acute gastroenteritis in children: a critical appraisal of their quality and applicability in primary care 
BMC Family Practice  2011;12:134.
Reasons for poor guideline adherence in acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in children in high-income countries are unclear, but may be due to inconsistency between guideline recommendations, lack of evidence, and lack of generalizability of the recommendations to general practice. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of international guidelines on AGE in children and investigate the generalizability of the recommendations to general practice.
Guidelines were retrieved from websites of professional medical organisations and websites of institutes involved in guideline development. In addition, a systematic search of the literature was performed. Articles were selected if they were a guideline, consensus statement or care protocol.
Eight guidelines met the inclusion criteria, the quality of the guidelines varied. 242 recommendations on diagnosis and management were found, of which 138 (57%) were based on evidence.
There is a large variety in the classification of symptoms to different categories of dehydration. No signs are generalizable to general practice.
It is consistently recommended to use hypo-osmolar ORS, however, the recommendations on ORS-dosage are not evidence based and are inconsistent. One of 14 evidence based recommendations on therapy of AGE is based on outpatient research and is therefore generalizable to general practice.
The present study shows considerable variation in the quality of guidelines on AGE in children, as well as inconsistencies between the recommendations. It remains unclear how to asses the extent of dehydration and determine the preferred treatment or referral of a young child with AGE presenting in general practice.
PMCID: PMC3331832  PMID: 22136388
3.  Duration of fever and serious bacterial infections in children: a systematic review 
BMC Family Practice  2011;12:33.
Parents of febrile children frequently contact primary care. Longer duration of fever has been related to increased risk for serious bacterial infections (SBI). However, the evidence for this association remains controversial. We assessed the predictive value of duration of fever for SBI.
Studies from MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane databases (from January 1991 to December 2009) were retrieved. We included studies describing children aged 2 months to 6 years in countries with high Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccination coverage. Duration of fever had to be studied as a predictor for serious bacterial infections.
Seven studies assessed the association between duration of fever and serious bacterial infections; three of these found a relationship.
The predictive value of duration of fever for identifying serious bacterial infections in children remains inconclusive. None of these seven studies was performed in primary care. Studies evaluating the duration of fever and its predictive value in children in primary care are required.
PMCID: PMC3111584  PMID: 21575193
4.  Childhood abdominal pain in primary care: design and patient selection of the HONEUR abdominal pain cohort 
BMC Family Practice  2010;11:27.
Abdominal pain in children is a common complaint presented to the GP. However, the prognosis and prognostic factors of childhood abdominal pain are almost exclusively studied in referred children. This cohort study aims at describing prognosis and prognostic factors of childhood abdominal pain in primary care. In this paper we describe methods used for data-collection and determine possible selective recruitment.
We conducted an observational, prospective cohort study with a 1-year follow-up. From May 2004 to March 2006, 53 Dutch GPs recruited consecutive children aged 4-17 years with a new episode of abdominal pain not preceded by a consultation for this complaint in the previous 3 months. Participants filled in standardized questionnaires, and faeces and urine were sampled. To evaluate selective recruitment, the electronic medical records of participating GPs were retrospectively searched for eligible non-included children.
This study allows us to describe prognosis and prognostic factors of childhood abdominal pain in primary care. A total of 305 children were included of whom 142 (46.6%) met predefined criteria for chronic/recurrent abdominal pain at presentation; from the total group of eligible children identified from the electronic medical record, 27% were included. The included children were significantly younger than non-included children (mean age 8.49 and 9.20 years). In proportion to identified eligible children, significantly less children diagnosed with "gastroenteritis" (6.8%) and significantly more children with "generalized abdominal pain" (39%) were included compared to the 27% that was expected. This cohort represents young school-aged children consulting GPs for a new episode of abdominal pain, not diagnosed as gastroenteritis. Almost half of them fulfil the criteria for chronic abdominal pain at presentation.
PMCID: PMC2858717  PMID: 20377856
5.  Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of sublingual immunotherapy in children with house dust mite allergy in primary care: study design and recruitment 
BMC Family Practice  2008;9:59.
For respiratory allergic disorders in children, sublingual immunotherapy has been developed as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy. Sublingual immunotherapy is more convenient, has a good safety profile and might be an attractive option for use in primary care. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study was designed to establish the efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy with house dust mite allergen compared to placebo treatment in 6 to18-year-old children with allergic rhinitis and a proven house dust mite allergy in primary care. Described here are the methodology, recruitment phases, and main characteristics of the recruited children.
Recruitment took place in September to December of 2005 and 2006. General practitioners (in south-west Netherlands) selected children who had ever been diagnosed with allergic rhinitis. Children and parents could respond to a postal invitation. Children who responded positively were screened by telephone using a nasal symptom score. After this screening, an inclusion visit took place during which a blood sample was taken for the RAST test.
A total of 226 general practitioners invited almost 6000 children: of these, 51% was male and 40% <12 years of age. The target sample size was 256 children; 251 patients were finally included. The most frequent reasons given for not participating were: absence or mildness of symptoms, absence of house dust mite allergy, and being allergic to grass pollen or tree pollen only. Asthma symptoms were reported by 37% of the children. Of the enrolled children, 71% was sensitized to both house dust mite and grass pollen. Roughly similar proportions of children were diagnosed as being sensitized to one, two, three or four common inhalant allergens.
Our study was designed in accordance with recent recommendations for research on establishing the efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy; 98% of the target sample size was achieved. This study is expected to provide useful information on sublingual immunotherapy with house dust mite allergen in primary care. The results on efficacy and safety are expected to be available by 2010.
Trial registration
the trial is registered as ISRCTN91141483 (Dutch Trial Register)
PMCID: PMC2577674  PMID: 18937864

Results 1-5 (5)