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Centre for Evidence-
Based Medicine

Completed Systematic Reviews Worksheet for Evidence-Based Physiotherapy Practice


Lacasse Y, Wong E, Guyatt GH, King D, Cook DJ, Goldstein RS. Meta-analysis of respiratory rehabilitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Lancet 1996;348:1115-9.

Are the results of this systematic review of therapy valid?

  1. Is it a systematic review of randomised trials of the treatment you are interested in?
  2. Does it include a methods section that describes finding and including all the relevant trials?
  3. Does it include a methods section that describes assessing their individual validity?
  4. Were the results consistent from study to study?
    Consistent results for health related quality of life (dyspnoea, and control over CAL). Functional exercise capacity results showed heterogeneity that could not be explained by sensitivity analysis.

Are the valid results of this systematic review important?

Do these results apply to your patients?

  1. Are your patients so different from those in the systematic review that its results can't help you?

How great would the potential benefit of therapy actually be for your individual patient?

  1. Method I: In the table on page 1, find the intersection of the closest odds ratio from the overview and the CER that is closest to your patient's expected event rate if they received the control treatment (PEER)
    In the systematic review, the authors report the minimum clinically important difference (MCID). This was defined, as the smallest difference perceived by the average patient.
  2. Method II: To calculate the NNT for any OR and PEER:
    NNT = (1-(PEERx(1-OR))/((1-PEER)xPEERx(1-OR))

Are your patient's values and preferences satisfied by the regimen and its consequences?

  1. Do your patient and you have a clear assessment of their values and preferences?
  2. Are they met by this regimen and its consequences?

Should you believe apparent qualitative differences in the efficacy of therapy in some subgroups of patients?

Only if you can say "yes" to all of the following:

  1. Do they really make biologic and clinical sense?
  2. Is the qualitative difference both clinically (beneficial for some but useless or harmful for others) and statistically significant?
  3. Was this difference hypothesised before the study began (rather than the product of dredging the data), and has it been confirmed in other, independent studies?
  4. Was this one of just a few subgroup analyses carried out in this study?

Additional Notes


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