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Good clinical trial design requires researchers to specify in advance, in the protocol, those outcomes to be measured. If research has not been conducted to identify the most appropriate clinical trial outcomes in a given condition, three problems may impair the usefulness of the research in informing clinical practice. Firstly, researchers can select(More)
BACKGROUND In clinical trials the selection of appropriate outcomes is crucial to the assessment of whether one intervention is better than another. Selection of inappropriate outcomes can compromise the utility of a trial. However, the process of selecting the most suitable outcomes to include can be complex. Our aim was to systematically review studies(More)
BACKGROUND In clinical trials in childhood asthma, outcomes reflecting short-term disease activity are frequently measured, whilst functional status, quality of life (QoL), and long-term treatment effects are rarely assessed. There is also non-uniformity across studies in the selection and measurement of outcomes within these domains. The development of a(More)
BACKGROUND Little work has been done to determine which outcomes should be measured in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in children with asthma. Drug regulatory authorities require that short term disease activity is measured, but other outcome domains are not mandatory for licensing and marketing purposes. We aimed to identify whether any domains were(More)
DILEMMA People making choices in health care should use the findings of clinical trials (ideally, incorporated in systematic reviews) to inform their decisions. If these findings are to be useful and reliable, researchers must select appropriate outcomes, measure them in a scientifically robust manner, and report results thoroughly. There are difficulties,(More)
BACKGROUND Adequate sedation is crucial to the management of children requiring assisted ventilation on Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU). The evidence-base of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in this area is small and a trial was planned to compare midazolam and clonidine, two sedatives widely used within PICUs neither of which being licensed for(More)
The clinical outcomes at weekends are worse than during the week in a hospital setting. There are many potential factors which influence this. High quality communication between the weekday teams and the on call weekend staff could help improve clinical outcomes at weekends, but there are no validated forms of communication that have been established in a(More)
BACKGROUND Adequate asthma treatment of childhood exacerbations with IV aminophylline depends on appropriate dosage. Recommendations to aim for a target therapeutic range may be inappropriate as serum concentrations correlate poorly with clinical improvement. This review aims to evaluate the evidence for the optimum dosage strategy of intravenous(More)
BACKGROUND Intravenous theophyllines are a second line treatment for children suffering an acute exacerbation of asthma. Various guidelines and formularies recommend aiming for serum theophylline levels between 10-20mg/l. This review aims to assess the evidence underpinning this recommendation. METHODS A systematic review comparing outcomes of children(More)