Objectives: Rapid reviews can be conducted in a narrower time frame, as compared to systematic reviews, by featuring restrictions. To estimate the validity of the results, assessment of methodological quality is required. Our aim was to analyze the methodological restrictions of rapid reviews compared with systematic reviews using the AMSTAR checklist and assess its feasibility for rapid reviews.Methods: A systematic search for literature on rapid reviews of surgical interventions was conducted in three databases: Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane library. Additionally, health technology assessment (HTA) databases were searched. We analyzed reviews using AMSTAR and additionally compared the results with those of an overview of reviews on the same topic.Results: Items found more frequently in rapid reviews were search for gray literature (65 percent versus 33 percent), listing of excluded studies (59 percent versus 37 percent), and provision of study characteristics (77 percent versus 44 percent), whereas consideration of study quality in formulating conclusions, conduct of meta-analysis, and statement of conflicts of interest were less frequent. Median time between search and publication was 8 months, with a range between 1 and 27.Conclusions: With some adjustments, AMSTAR can be used as a checklist for rapid reviews to describe methodological restrictions in comparison to systematic reviews and to roughly estimate the validity of the results. Strikingly, only 14.3 percent of rapid reviews were published within 3 months.
Background There is no consensus on the most suitable treatment for tennis elbow but, in the USA, surgical intervention is increasing despite a lack of supportive research evidence. The aim of this systematic review was to provide a balanced update based on all relevant published randomized controlled trials conducted to date. Methods An electronic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, BNI, AMED, PsycINFO, HBE, HMIC, PubMed, TRIP, Dynamed Plus and The Cochrane Library was complemented by hand searching. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool and data were synthesized narratively, based on levels of evidence, as a result of heterogeneity. Results Twelve studies of poor methodological quality were included. The available data suggest that surgical interventions for tennis elbow are no more effective than nonsurgical and sham interventions. Surgical technique modifications may enhance effectiveness compared to traditional methods but have not been tested against a placebo. Conclusions Current research evidence suggests that surgery for tennis elbow is no more effective than nonsurgical treatment based on evidence with significant methodological limitations. Given the recalcitrant nature of tennis elbow for some patients, further research in the form of a high-quality placebo-controlled surgical trial with an additional conservative arm is required to usefully inform clinical practice.
Abstract. Background: Here, we update an earlier systematic review on the preventive efficacy of active compression stockings in patients with diagnosed proximal deep venous thrombosis (DVT) by including the results of recently published trials. The aims are to synthesize the results of the original studies, and to identify details to explain heterogeneous results. Methods: We searched the Cochrane Library, PubMed, Scopus, and Medline for original studies that compared the preventive efficacy of active compression stockings with placebo or no compression stockings in patients with diagnosed proximal DVT. Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included. Results: Five eligible RCTs with a total of 1393 patients (sample sizes ranged from 47 to 803 patients) were included. In three RCTs, patients started to wear compression stockings, placebo stockings or no stockings within the first three weeks after the diagnosis of DVT. The results of two RCTs indicate a statistically significant reduction in post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) of 50% or more after two or more years. The result of one RCT shows no preventive effect of compression stockings at all. Due to the heterogeneity of the study results, we refrained from pooling the results of the RCTs. In a further RCT, randomization to groups with and without compression stockings took place six months after the diagnosis of DVT, and in another RCT, only patients with the absence of PTS one year after the diagnosis of DVT were analyzed. One RCT revealed a significant reduction in symptoms, whereas another RCT failed to show any benefit of using compression stockings. Conclusions: At this time, it does not seem to be justifiable to entirely abandon the recommendations regarding compression stockings to prevent PTS in patients with DVT. There is evidence favoring compression stockings, but there is also evidence showing no benefit of compression stockings.