57 research outputs found

    Elective induction of labour and expectant management in late-term pregnancy : A prospective cohort study alongside the INDEX randomised controlled trial

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    Funding Information: BWM reports consultancy for ObsEva. BMW has received research funding from Ferring and Merck. The original RCT was funded by ZonMw: number NTR3431 , Netherlands Trial Registy . BWM is supported by a NHMRC Investigator grant (GNT1176437). Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The AuthorsPeer reviewedPublisher PD

    Methodologic considerations in randomized clinical trials in reproductive medicine

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    Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the cornerstone of evidence-based medicine. In this series in Fertility and Sterility, several aspects of RCTs are discussed, with contributions on multicenter RCTs, different international settings, and integrity of RCTs. The present contribution deals with methodologic issues. We discuss different types of RCTs based on null hypothesis (superiority vs. noninferiority vs. equivalence) as well as frequentist versus Bayesian interpretation. We also discuss the use of RCTs in the era of personalized medicine and RCTs to address diagnostic and prognostic questions. Finally, we address the use of big data compared with the use of RCTs.status: publishe

    This is a repository copy of The development of QUADAS : a tool for the quality assessment of studies of diagnostic accuracy included in systematic reviews. The development of QUADAS: a tool for the quality assessment of studies of diagnostic accuracy inc

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    Abstract Background: In the era of evidence based medicine, with systematic reviews as its cornerstone, adequate quality assessment tools should be available. There is currently a lack of a systematically developed and evaluated tool for the assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies. The aim of this project was to combine empirical evidence and expert opinion in a formal consensus method to develop a tool to be used in systematic reviews to assess the quality of primary studies of diagnostic accuracy

    Interventions for unexplained infertility : a systematic review and network meta-analysis

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    BACKGROUND: Clinical management for unexplained infertility includes expectant management as well as active treatments, including ovarian stimulation (OS), intrauterine insemination (IUI), OS-IUI, and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).Existing systematic reviews have conducted head-to-head comparisons of these interventions using pairwise meta-analyses. As this approach allows only the comparison of two interventions at a time and is contingent on the availability of appropriate primary evaluative studies, it is difficult to identify the best intervention in terms of effectiveness and safety. Network meta-analysis compares multiple treatments simultaneously by using both direct and indirect evidence and provides a hierarchy of these treatments, which can potentially better inform clinical decision-making. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of different approaches to clinical management (expectant management, OS, IUI, OS-IUI, and IVF/ICSI) in couples with unexplained infertility. SEARCH METHODS: We performed a systematic review and network meta-analysis of relevant randomised controlled trials (RCTs). We searched electronic databases including the Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group Specialised Register of Controlled Trials, the Cochrane Central Register of Studies Online, MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO and CINAHL, up to 6 September 2018, as well as reference lists, to identify eligible studies. We also searched trial registers for ongoing trials. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included RCTs comparing at least two of the following clinical management options in couples with unexplained infertility: expectant management, OS, IUI, OS-IUI, and IVF (or combined with ICSI). DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently screened titles and abstracts identified by the search strategy. We obtained the full texts of potentially eligible studies to assess eligibility and extracted data using standardised forms. The primary effectiveness outcome was a composite of cumulative live birth or ongoing pregnancy, and the primary safety outcome was multiple pregnancy. We performed a network meta-analysis within a random-effects multi-variate meta-analysis model. We presented treatment effects by using odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). For the network meta-analysis, we used Confidence in Network Meta-analysis (CINeMA) to evaluate the overall certainty of evidence. MAIN RESULTS: We included 27 RCTs (4349 couples) in this systematic review and 24 RCTs (3983 couples) in a subsequent network meta-analysis. Overall, the certainty of evidence was low to moderate: the main limitations were imprecision and/or heterogeneity.Ten RCTs including 2725 couples reported on live birth. Evidence of differences between OS, IUI, OS-IUI, or IVF/ICSI versus expectant management was insufficient (OR 1.01, 95% CI 0.51 to 1.98; low-certainty evidence; OR 1.21, 95% CI 0.61 to 2.43; low-certainty evidence; OR 1.61, 95% CI 0.88 to 2.94; low-certainty evidence; OR 1.88, 95 CI 0.81 to 4.38; low-certainty evidence). This suggests that if the chance of live birth following expectant management is assumed to be 17%, the chance following OS, IUI, OS-IUI, and IVF would be 9% to 28%, 11% to 33%, 15% to 37%, and 14% to 47%, respectively. When only including couples with poor prognosis of natural conception (3 trials, 725 couples) we found OS-IUI and IVF/ICSI increased live birth rate compared to expectant management (OR 4.48, 95% CI 2.00 to 10.1; moderate-certainty evidence; OR 4.99, 95 CI 2.07 to 12.04; moderate-certainty evidence), while there was insufficient evidence of a difference between IVF/ICSI and OS-IUI (OR 1.11, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.60; low-certainty evidence).Eleven RCTs including 2564 couples reported on multiple pregnancy. Compared to expectant management/IUI, OS (OR 3.07, 95% CI 1.00 to 9.41; low-certainty evidence) and OS-IUI (OR 3.34 95% CI 1.09 to 10.29; moderate-certainty evidence) increased the odds of multiple pregnancy, and there was insufficient evidence of a difference between IVF/ICSI and expectant management/IUI (OR 2.66, 95% CI 0.68 to 10.43; low-certainty evidence). These findings suggest that if the chance of multiple pregnancy following expectant management or IUI is assumed to be 0.6%, the chance following OS, OS-IUI, and IVF/ICSI would be 0.6% to 5.0%, 0.6% to 5.4%, and 0.4% to 5.5%, respectively.Trial results show insufficient evidence of a difference between IVF/ICSI and OS-IUI for moderate/severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) (OR 2.50, 95% CI 0.92 to 6.76; 5 studies; 985 women; moderate-certainty evidence). This suggests that if the chance of moderate/severe OHSS following OS-IUI is assumed to be 1.1%, the chance following IVF/ICSI would be between 1.0% and 7.2%. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient evidence of differences in live birth between expectant management and the other four interventions (OS, IUI, OS-IUI, and IVF/ICSI). Compared to expectant management/IUI, OS may increase the odds of multiple pregnancy, and OS-IUI probably increases the odds of multiple pregnancy. Evidence on differences between IVF/ICSI and expectant management for multiple pregnancy is insufficient, as is evidence of a difference for moderate or severe OHSS between IVF/ICSI and OS-IUI

    Which factors contribute to false-positive, false-negative, and invalid results in fetal fibronectin testing in women with symptoms of preterm labor?

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    \u3cp\u3eObjective We assessed the influence of external factors on false-positive, false-negative, and invalid fibronectin results in the prediction of spontaneous delivery within 7 days. Methods We studied symptomatic women between 24 and 34 weeks' gestational age. We performed uni- and multivariable logistic regression to estimate the effect of external factors (vaginal soap, digital examination, transvaginal sonography, sexual intercourse, vaginal bleeding) on the risk of false-positive, false-negative, and invalid results, using spontaneous delivery within 7 days as the outcome. Results Out of 708 women, 237 (33%) had a false-positive result; none of the factors showed a significant association. Vaginal bleeding increased the proportion of positive fetal fibronectin (fFN) results, but was significantly associated with a lower risk of false-positive test results (odds ratio [OR], 0.22; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 0.12-0.39). Ten women (1%) had a false-negative result. None of the investigated factors was significantly associated with a significantly higher risk of false-negative results. Twenty-one tests (3%) were invalid; only vaginal bleeding showed a significant association (OR, 4.5; 95% CI, 1.7-12). Conclusion The effect of external factors on the performance of qualitative fFN testing is limited, with vaginal bleeding as the only factor that reduces its validity.\u3c/p\u3

    The development of CHAMP : a checklist for the appraisal of moderators and predictors

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    BACKGROUND: Personalized healthcare relies on the identification of factors explaining why individuals respond differently to the same intervention. Analyses identifying such factors, so called predictors and moderators, have their own set of assumptions and limitations which, when violated, can result in misleading claims, and incorrect actions. The aim of this study was to develop a checklist for critically appraising the results of predictor and moderator analyses by combining recommendations from published guidelines and experts in the field. METHODS: Candidate criteria for the checklist were retrieved through systematic searches of the literature. These criteria were evaluated for appropriateness using a Delphi procedure. Two Delphi rounds yielded a pilot checklist, which was tested on a set of papers included in a systematic review on reinforced home-based palliative care. The results of the pilot informed a third Delphi round, which served to finalize the checklist. RESULTS: Forty-nine appraisal criteria were identified in the literature. Feedback was obtained from fourteen experts from (bio)statistics, epidemiology and other associated fields elicited via three Delphi rounds. Additional feedback from other researchers was collected in a pilot test. The final version of our checklist included seventeen criteria, covering the design (e.g. a priori plausibility), analysis (e.g. use of interaction tests) and results (e.g. complete reporting) of moderator and predictor analysis, together with the transferability of the results (e.g. clinical importance). There are criteria both for individual papers and for bodies of evidence. CONCLUSIONS: The proposed checklist can be used for critical appraisal of reported moderator and predictor effects, as assessed in randomized or non-randomized studies using individual participant or aggregate data. This checklist is accompanied by a user's guide to facilitate implementation. Its future use across a wide variety of research domains and study types will provide insights about its usability and feasibility

    Quantitative fetal fibronectin testing in combination with cervical length measurement in the prediction of spontaneous preterm delivery in symptomatic women

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    \u3cp\u3eObjective: To evaluate whether in symptomatic women, the combination of quantitative fetal fibronectin (fFN) testing and cervical length (CL) improves the prediction of preterm delivery (PTD) within 7 days compared with qualitative fFN and CL. Design: Post hoc analysis of frozen fFN samples of a nationwide cohort study. Setting: Ten perinatal centres in the Netherlands. Population: Symptomatic women between 24 and 34 weeks of gestation. Methods: The risk of PTD <7 days was estimated in predefined CL and fFN strata. We used logistic regression to develop a model including quantitative fFN and CL, and one including qualitative fFN (threshold 50 ng/ml) and CL. We compared the models’ capacity to identify women at low risk (<5%) for delivery within 7 days using a reclassification table. Main outcome measures: Spontaneous delivery within 7 days after study entry. Results: We studied 350 women, of whom 69 (20%) delivered within 7 days. The risk of PTD in <7 days ranged from 2% in the lowest fFN group (<10 ng/ml) to 71% in the highest group (>500 ng/ml). Multivariable logistic regression showed an increasing risk of PTD in <7 days with rising fFN concentration [10–49 ng/ml: odds ratio (OR) 1.3, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.23–7.0; 50–199 ng/ml: OR 3.2, 95% CI 0.79–13; 200–499 ng/ml: OR 9.0, 95% CI 2.3–35; >500 ng/ml: OR 39, 95% CI 9.4–164] and shortening of the CL (OR 0.86 per mm, 95% CI 0.82–0.90). Use of quantitative fFN instead of qualitative fFN resulted in reclassification of 18 (5%) women from high to low risk, of whom one (6%) woman delivered within 7 days. Conclusion: In symptomatic women, quantitative fFN testing does not improve the prediction of PTD within 7 days compared with qualitative fFN testing in combination with CL measurement in terms of reclassification from high to low (<5%) risk, but it adds value across the risk range. Tweetable abstract: Quantitative fFN testing adds value to qualitative fFN testing with CL measurement in the prediction of PTD.\u3c/p\u3

    Adherence to colorectal cancer screening: Four rounds of faecal immunochemical test-based screening

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    Background:The effectiveness of faecal immunochemical test (FIT)-based screening programs is highly dependent on consistent participation over multiple rounds. We evaluated adherence to FIT screening over four rounds and aimed to identify determinants of participation behaviour.Methods:A total of 23 339 randomly selected asymptomatic persons aged 50-74 years were invited for biennial FIT-based colorectal cancer screening between 2006 and 2014. All were invited for every consecutive round, except for those who had moved out of the area, passed the upper age limit, or had tested positive in a previous screening round. A reminder letter was sent to non-responders. We calculated participation rates per round, response rates to a reminder letter, and differences in participation between subgroups defined by age, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES).Results:Over the four rounds, participation rates increased significantly, from 60% (95% CI 60-61), 60% (95% CI 59-60), 62% (95% CI 61-63) to 63% (95% CI 62-64; P for trend<0.001) with significantly higher participation rates in women in all rounds (P<0.001). Of the 17 312 invitees eligible for at least two rounds of FIT screening, 12 455 (72%) participated at least once, whereas 4857 (28%) never participated; 8271 (48%) attended all rounds when eligible. Consistent participation was associated with older age, female sex, and higher SES. Offering a reminder letter after the initial invite in the first round increased uptake with 12%; in subsequent screening rounds this resulted in an additional uptake of up to 10%.Conclusions:In four rounds of a pilot biennial FIT-screening program, we observed a consistently high and increasing participation rate, whereas sending reminders remain effective. The substantial proportion of inconsistent participants suggests the existence of incidental barriers to participation, which, if possible, should be identified and removed

    GRADE Guidelines : 16. GRADE evidence to decision frameworks for tests in clinical practice and public health

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    Objectives To describe the grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation (GRADE) interactive evidence to decision (EtD) frameworks for tests and test strategies for clinical, public health, or coverage decisions. Study Design and Setting As part of the GRADE Working Group's DECIDE project, we conducted workshops, user testing with systematic review authors, guideline developers and other decision makers, and piloted versions of the EtD framework. Results EtD frameworks for tests share the structure, explicitness, and transparency of other EtD frameworks. They require specifying the purpose of the test, linked or related management, and the key outcomes of concern for different test results and subsequent management. The EtD criteria address test accuracy and assessments of the certainty of the additional evidence necessary for decision making. When there is no direct evidence of test effects on patient-important outcomes, formal or informal modeling is needed to estimate effects. We describe the EtD criteria based on examples developed with GRADEpro (www.gradepro.org), GRADE's software that also allows development and dissemination of interactive summary of findings tables. Conclusion EtD frameworks for developing recommendations and making decisions about tests lay out the sequential steps in reviewing and assessing the different types of evidence that need to be linked
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