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Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the test performance and clinical effectiveness of photodynamic diagnosis (PDD) compared with white light cystoscopy (WLC) in people suspected of new or recurrent bladder cancer.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), nonrandomized comparative studies, or diagnostic cross-sectional studies comparing PDD with WLC. Fifteen electronic databases and Web sites were searched (last searches April 2008). For clinical effectiveness, only RCTs were considered.
Results: Twenty-seven studies (2,949 participants) assessed test performance. PDD had higher sensitivity than WLC (92 percent, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 80–100 percent versus 71 percent, 95 percent CI, 49–93 percent) but lower specificity (57 percent, 95 percent CI, 36–79 percent versus 72 percent, 95 percent CI, 47–96 percent). For detecting higher risk tumors, median range sensitivity of PDD (89 percent [6–100 percent]) was higher than WLC (56 percent [0–100 percent]) whereas for lower risk tumors it was broadly similar (92 percent [20–95 percent] versus 95 percent [8–100 percent]). Four RCTs (709 participants) using 5-aminolaevulinic acid (5-ALA) as the photosensitising agent reported clinical effectiveness. Using PDD at transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) resulted in fewer residual tumors at check cystoscopy (relative risk [RR], 0.37, 95 percent CI, 0.20–0.69) and longer recurrence-free survival (RR, 1.37, 95 percent CI, 1.18–1.59), compared with WLC.
Conclusions: PDD detects more bladder tumors than WLC, including more high-risk tumors. Based on four RCTs reporting clinical effectiveness, 5-aminolaevulinic acid–mediated PDD at TURBT facilitates a more complete resection and prolongs recurrence-free survival.
There is currently no generally accepted formula for the optimal timing of health technology assessments (HTAs). This paper presents some of the relevant issues and then reviews the existing literature on timing of HTAs. It finds that the literature that specifically addresses these issues is limited. There is a consensus that HTAs should be initiated at an early stage of the development of a new health technology, and repeated during the life cycle of the technology. However, the questions of reliably identifying new technologies at an early stage in their development and of deciding on a detectable critical point for starting evaluation are not resolved. It is proposed that a system of categorization and prioritization of health technologies should be developed to allow decisions to be made as to when a strongly precautionary approach is required and how the limited resources available for HTA could be optimally deployed.
The purpose of this study was to determine how horizon-scanning organizations can encourage the implementation of recommendations contained in their early warning messages about emerging health technologies. We reviewed the conclusions of the EUR-ASSESS Project Subgroup report on dissemination and impact, an overview of systematic reviews of interventions to promote implementation of research findings by health care professionals, and various Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group protocols and reviews. The evidence on the effectiveness of different implementation strategies aimed at distinct target groups is of variable quality. There is some evidence from rigorous study designs on the effectiveness of strategies designed to influence the behavior of health care professionals; the quality of the evidence relating to policy makers and the general public is more limited. Horizon-scanning organizations can improve the likelihood of their recommendations being acted upon by developing active implementation strategies based on the best available evidence, establishing links with key groups, and directing early warning messages at specific target audiences. Given the relative lack of good quality evidence, it is important that implementation strategies be rigorously evaluated to determine their effectiveness.
Background: Home hemodialysis offers potential advantages over hospital hemodialysis, including the opportunity for more frequent and/or longer dialysis sessions. Expanding home hemodialysis services may help cope with the increasing numbers of people requiring hemodialysis.
Methods: We sought comparative studies or systematic reviews of home versus hospital/satellite unit hemodialysis for people with end-stage renal failure (ESRF). Outcomes included quality of life and survival. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, HealthSTAR, CINAHL, PREMEDLINE, and BIOSIS. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed the quality of the studies included.
Results: Twenty-seven studies of variable quality were included. People on home hemodialysis generally experienced a better quality of life and lived longer than those on hospital hemodialysis. Their partners, however, found home hemodialysis more stressful. Four studies using a Cox proportional hazards model to compare home with hospital hemodialysis reported a lower mortality risk for home hemodialysis. Of two studies using a Cox model to compare home with satellite unit hemodialysis, one reported a similar mortality risk, whereas the other reported a lower mortality risk for home hemodialysis.
Conclusions: Home hemodialysis was generally associated with better outcomes than hospital hemodialysis and (more modestly so) satellite unit hemodialysis, in terms of quality of life, survival, and other measures of effectiveness. People on home hemodialysis, however, are a highly selected group. Home hemodialysis also provides the opportunity for more frequent and/or longer dialysis sessions than would otherwise be possible. It is difficult to disentangle the true effects of home hemodialysis from such influencing factors.
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