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Concept: Science Citation Index


BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) is known to disproportionately affect the most economically disadvantaged strata of society. Many studies have assessed the association between poverty and TB, but only a few have assessed the direct financial burden TB treatment and care can place on households. Patient costs can be particularly burdensome for TB-affected households in sub-Saharan Africa where poverty levels are high; these costs include the direct costs of medical and non-medical expenditures and the indirect costs of time utilizing healthcare or lost wages. In order to comprehensively assess the existing evidence on the costs that TB patients incur, we undertook a systematic review of the literature. METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index, EconLit, Dissertation Abstracts, CINAHL, and Sociological Abstracts databases were searched, and 5,114 articles were identified. Articles were included in the final review if they contained a quantitative measure of direct or indirect patient costs for treatment or care for pulmonary TB in sub-Saharan Africa and were published from January 1, 1994 to Dec 31, 2010. Cost data were extracted from each study and converted to 2010 international dollars (I$). RESULTS: Thirty articles met all of the inclusion criteria. Twenty-one studies reported both direct and indirect costs; eight studies reported only direct costs and one study reported only indirect costs. Depending on type of costs, costs varied from less than I$1 to almost I$600 or from a small fraction of mean monthly income for average annual income earners to over 10 times the annual income that the average person in the income-poorest 20% of the population earns. Out of the eleven types of TB patient costs identified in this review, the costs for hospitalization, medication, transportation, and care in the private sector were largest. CONCLUSION: TB patients and households in sub-Saharan Africa often incurred high costs when utilizing TB treatment and care, both within and outside of Directly Observed Therapy Short-course (DOTS) programs. It is likely that for many households, TB treatment and care-related costs were “catastrophic” because the TB patient costs commonly amounted to 10% or more of per-capita incomes in the countries where the primary studies included in this review were conducted. Our results suggest that policies to decrease direct and indirect TB patient costs are urgently needed to prevent poverty due to TB treatment and care for those affected by the disease.

Concepts: Africa, Tuberculosis, Cost, Science Citation Index, Household income in the United States, Citation index, Social Sciences Citation Index


BACKGROUND: Intravitreal injection therapy (IViT) for retinoblastoma has shown promise in the treatment of vitreous seeds; however, the potential for tumour dissemination following intravitreal penetration has limited its use. This review evaluates the risk of extraocular tumour spread in patients receiving therapeutic intravitreal injections for retinoblastoma. METHODS: PUBMED (1946-present), SCOPUS (all years), Science Citation Index (1900-present) and Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Science (1990-present) electronic databases were searched to identify all published reports of IViT for retinoblastoma in humans. RESULTS: 14 studies with original IViT data were included in this review. A total of 1304 intravitreal injections were given in 315 eyes of 304 patients, with one report of extraocular tumour spread and one patient in whom intravitreal treatment could not be excluded as a contributor to metastatic disease. The proportion of subjects with extraocular tumour spread potentially due to IViT in these combined reports was 0.007 (95% CI 0.0008 to 0.0236), with a mean follow-up of 72.1 months. In a subset of 61 patients receiving IViT via safety enhancing injection techniques (347 injections, 19.6 months mean follow-up), there were no reports of tumour spread. CONCLUSIONS: Local and systemic tumour spread following IViT in cases of retinoblastoma is rare, and this risk is potentially reduced by the use of safety enhancing injection techniques. These results suggest that the risk of tumour spread should not preclude IViT use for carefully selected patients as part of multi-modal globe salvaging therapy.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Academic publishing, Science Citation Index, Citation index, Citation indices


An overview of intra-abdominal sepsis is necessary at this time with new experimental studies, scoring systems and audits on management outcomes. The understanding of the pathophysiology of the peritoneum in the manifestation of surgical sepsis and the knowledge of the source of pathogenic organisms which reach the peritoneal cavity are crucial in the prevention of intra-abdominal infection. Inter-individual variation in the pattern of mediator release and of end-organ responsiveness may play a significant role in determining the initial physiological response to major sepsis and this in turn may be a key determinant of outcome. The ability to identify the presence of peritoneal inflammation probably has the greatest influence on the final surgical decision. The prevention of the progression of sepsis is by early goal-directed therapy and source control. Recent advances in interventional techniques for peritonitis have significantly reduced the morbidity and mortality of physiologically severe complicated abdominal infection. In the critically ill patients there is some evidence that the prevention of gut mucosal acidosis improves outcome. The aim of this review is to ascertain why intra-abdominal sepsis remains a major clinical challenge and how a better understanding of the pathophysiology may enable its prevention and better management. METHOD: Electronic searches of the medline (PubMed) database, Cochrane library, and science citation index were performed to identify original published studies on intra-abdominal sepsis and the current management. Relevant articles were searched from relevant chapters in specialized texts and all included.

Concepts: Inflammation, Bacteria, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Peritoneum, Abdomen, Pathogenic bacteria, Science Citation Index


This systematic review of reviews aims to investigate how brief interventions (BIs) are defined, whether they increase physical activity, which factors influence their effectiveness, who they are effective for, and whether they are feasible and acceptable. We searched CINAHL, Cochrane database of systematic reviews, DARE, HTA database, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Science Citation Index-Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network from their inception until May 2015 to identify systematic reviews of the effectiveness of BIs aimed at promoting physical activity in adults, reporting a physical activity outcome and at least one BI that could be delivered in a primary care setting. A narrative synthesis was conducted. We identified three specific BI reviews and thirteen general reviews of physical activity interventions that met the inclusion criteria. The BI reviews reported varying definitions of BIs, only one of which specified a maximum duration of 30min. BIs can increase self-reported physical activity in the short term, but there is insufficient evidence about their long-term impact, their impact on objectively measured physical activity, and about the factors that influence their effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability. Current definitions include BIs that are too long for primary care consultations. Practitioners, commissioners and policy makers should be aware of this when interpreting evidence about BIs, and future research should develop and evaluate very brief interventions (of 5min or less) that could be delivered in a primary care consultation.

Concepts: Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Cochrane Library, Term, Science Citation Index


The publication of anesthesiology papers presents the importance of understanding the corresponding research activity. This research used the bibliographic method to investigate the publication trend in anesthesiology using Science Citation Index Expanded over the period 1995-2014.

Concepts: Scientific method, Academic publishing, Research, Peer review, Scientific journal, Science Citation Index, Scientific literature, Citation index


BACKGROUND: Socioeconomic inequalities in obesity and associated risk factors for obesity are widening throughout developed countries worldwide. Tackling obesity is high on the public health agenda both in the United Kingdom and internationally. However, what works in terms of interventions that are able to reduce inequalities in obesity is lacking. METHODS: The review will examine public health interventions at the individual, community and societal level that might reduce inequalities in obesity among adults aged 18 years and over, in any setting and in any country. The following electronic databases will be searched: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Social Science Citation Index, ASSIA, IBSS, Sociological Abstracts, and the NHS Economic Evaluation Database. Database searches will be supplemented with website and gray literature searches. No studies will be excluded based on language, country or publication date. Randomized and non-randomized controlled trials, prospective and retrospective cohort studies (with/without control groups) and prospective repeat cross-sectional studies (with/without control groups) that have a primary outcome that is a proxy for body fatness and have examined differential effects with regard to socioeconomic status (education, income, occupation, social class, deprivation, poverty) or where the intervention has been targeted specifically at disadvantaged groups or deprived areas will be included. Study inclusion, data extraction and quality appraisal will be conducted by two reviewers. Meta-analysis and narrative synthesis will be conducted. The main analysis will examine the effects of 1) individual, 2) community and 3) societal level public health interventions on socioeconomic inequalities in childhood obesity. Interventions will be characterized by their level of action and their approach to tackling inequalities. Contextual information on how such public health interventions are organized, implemented and delivered will also be examined. DISCUSSION: The review will provide evidence, and reveal any gaps in the evidence base, of public health strategies which reduce and prevent inequalities in the prevalence of obesity in adults and provide information on the organization, implementation and delivery of such interventions.Trial registration: PROSPERO registration number: CRD42013003612.

Concepts: Cohort study, Public health, Epidemiology, Nutrition, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Sociology, Science Citation Index


Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) pathways are multimodal, evidence-based approaches to optimize patient outcome after surgery. However, the use of ERAS protocols to improve morbidity and recovery time without compromising safety following pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) remains to be elucidated.We conducted a systemic review and meta-analysis to assess the safety and efficacy of ERAS protocols compared with conventional perioperative care (CPC) in patients following PD.PubMed, Medline, Embase, and Science Citation Index Expanded and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library were searched between January 2000 and June 2015.The patients who underwent PD with ERAS protocols or CPC were eligible. The studies that compared postoperative length of hospital stay (PLOS), postoperative complications, or in-hospital costs in the 2 groups were included.A meta-analysis, meta-regression, sensitivity analysis, and subgroup analysis were performed to estimate the postoperative outcomes between the 2 groups and identified the potential confounders. We used the methodological index for nonrandomized studies checklist to assess methodological qualities. Weighted mean differences (WMD) or odds ratios (OR) were calculated with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI). The publication bias tests were also performed through the funnel plots.In total, 14 nonrandomized comparative studies with 1409 ERAS cases and 1310 controls were analyzed. Implementation of an ERAS protocol significantly reduced PLOS (WMD: -4.17 days; 95%CI: -5.72 to -2.61), delayed gastric emptying (OR: 0.56; 95%CI: 0.44-0.71), overall morbidity (OR: 0.63; 95% CI: 0.54-0.74), and in-hospital costs compared to CPC (all Pā€Š<ā€Š0.001). There were no statistically significant differences in other postoperative outcomes. Age, gender, and ERAS component implementation did not significantly contribute to heterogeneity for PLOS as shown by meta-regression analysis.Our study suggested that ERAS was as safe as CPC and improved recovery of patients undergoing PD, thus reducing in-hospital costs. General adoption of ERAS protocols during PD should be recommended.

Concepts: Statistics, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Cochrane Library, Academic publishing, MEDLINE, Meta-analysis, Science Citation Index


Health technology assessment (HTA) agencies increasingly use reviews of qualitative research as evidence for evaluating social, experiential, and ethical aspects of health technologies. We systematically searched three bibliographic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, and Social Science Citation Index [SSCI]) using published search filters or “hedges” and our hybrid filter to identify qualitative research studies pertaining to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and early breast cancer. The search filters were compared in terms of sensitivity, specificity, and precision. Our screening by title and abstract revealed that qualitative research constituted only slightly more than 1% of all published research on each health topic. The performance of the published search filters varied greatly across topics and databases. Compared with existing search filters, our hybrid filter demonstrated a consistently high sensitivity across databases and topics, and minimized the resource-intensive process of sifting through false positives. We identify opportunities for qualitative health researchers to improve the uptake of qualitative research into evidence-informed policy making.

Concepts: Cancer, Evaluation, Type I and type II errors, Academic publishing, Quantitative research, Science Citation Index, Citation index, Social Sciences Citation Index


Clinical audit is a quality improvement process with the goal of continuously improving quality of patient care as assessed by explicit criteria. In human medicine clinical audit has become an integral and required component of the standard of care. In contrast, in veterinary medicine there appear to have been a limited number of clinical audits published, indicating that while clinical audit is recognised, its adoption in veterinary medicine is still in its infancy. A systematic review was designed to report and evaluate the veterinary literature on clinical audit in companion animal species (dog, cat, horse). A systematic search of English and French articles using Proquest Dissertations and Theses database (February 6, 2014), CAB Abstracts (March 21, 2014 and April 4, 2014), Scopus (March 21, 2014), Web of Science Citation index (March 21, 2014) and OVID Medline (March 21, 2014) was performed. Included articles were those either discussing clinical audit (such as review articles and editorials) or reporting parts of, or complete, audit cycles.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Systematic review, Academic publishing, Veterinary medicine, Science Citation Index, Pet, Citation index


Individual lifestyles are key drivers of both environmental change and chronic disease. We undertook a scoping review of peer-reviewed studies which examined associations between environmental and health behaviors of individuals in high-income countries. We searched EconLit, Medline, BIOSIS and the Social Science Citation Index. A total of 136 studies were included. The majority were USA-based cross-sectional studies using self-reported measures. Most of the evidence related to travel behavior, particularly active travel (walking and cycling) and physical activity (92 studies) or sedentary behaviors (19 studies). Associations of public transport use with physical activity were examined in 18 studies, and with sedentary behavior in one study. Four studies examined associations between car use and physical activity. A small number included other environmental behaviors (food-related behaviors (n = 14), including organic food, locally-sourced food and plate waste) and other health behaviors ((n = 20) smoking, dietary intake, alcohol). These results suggest that research on individual environmental and health behaviors consists largely of studies examining associations between travel mode and levels of physical activity. There appears to be less research on associations between other behaviors with environmental and health impacts, and very few longitudinal studies in any domain.

Concepts: Scientific method, Longitudinal study, Epidemiology, Cross-sectional study, Bibliographic databases, Science Citation Index, Citation index, Social Sciences Citation Index