Keith K O'Rourke

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Meta-analysis is a method of synthesizing evidence from multiple sources. It has been increasingly applied to combine results from randomized trials of therapeutic strategies. Unfortunately there is often variation in the quality of the trials that are included in meta-analyses, limiting the value of combining the results in an overview. This variation in(More)
Meta-analysis is the process of combining study results that can be used to draw conclusions about therapeutic effectiveness or to plan new studies. We review important design and statistical issues of this process. The design issues include protocol development, objectives, literature search, publication bias, measures of study outcomes, and quality of the(More)
PURPOSE To determine whether alpha-interferon is effective in terminating viral replication and in eradicating the carrier state in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. DATA SOURCES Randomized controlled studies published in the English literature between January 1966 and June 1992 were identified through a MEDLINE computer search. (More)
Twenty-one consecutive patients with streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (TSS) between December 1994 and April 1995 were treated with a median dose of 2 g of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)/kg (cases) and were compared with 32 patients with streptococcal TSS between 1992 and 1995 who did not receive IVIG therapy (controls). The outcome measure was 30-day(More)
BACKGROUND Hip fractures in elderly people are associated with impaired function and ambulation and high rates of death and admission to institutions. Interventions designed to improve the outcomes of hip fracture (e.g., mobility and discharge to own home) that have incorporated interdisciplinary care have had mixed results. We compared the effectiveness of(More)
BACKGROUND Low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs) are now standard therapy for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). No published trials have compared LMWHs, and few studies have examined outpatient therapy for PE. Only tinzaparin sodium has demonstrated superiority to unfractionated heparin in a clinical trial. METHODS(More)
We studied 202 patients admitted to two major teaching hospitals for planned gastrointestinal surgery to assess the ability of several techniques of nutritional assessment to predict major postoperative complications (infection and/or wound problems). Subjective global assessment (SGA) and albumin were both of predictive value, and combinations of these(More)
OBJECTIVE To document the natural history of asymptomatic primary biliary cirrhosis and identify prognostic features that would predict the development of symptomatic disease. METHODS A retrospective chart review of all patients with abnormal liver biochemical tests and antimitochondrial antibody-positive, liver biopsy-compatible primary biliary cirrhosis(More)
Results from better quality studies should in some sense be more valid or more accurate than results from other studies, and as a consequence should tend to be distributed differently from results of other studies. To date, however, quality scores have been poor predictors of study results. We discuss possible reasons and remedies for this problem. It(More)
BACKGROUND Randomised controlled trials of implementation strategies tell us whether (or not) an intervention results in changes in professional behaviour but little about the causal mechanisms that produce any change. Theory-based process evaluations collect data on theoretical constructs alongside randomised trials to explore possible causal mechanisms(More)