Using a systematic review in clinical decision making: a pilot parallel, randomized controlled trial

Perrier, Laure; Persaud, Nav; Thorpe, Kevin E.; Straus, Sharon E.
August 2015
Implementation Science;Aug2015, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
journal article
Background: Evidence suggests that systematic reviews are used infrequently by physicians in clinical decision-making. One proposed solution is to create filtered resources so that information is validated and refined in order to be read quickly. Two shortened systematic review formats were developed to enhance their use in clinical decision-making.Methods: To prepare for a full-scale trial, we conducted a pilot study to test methods and procedures in order to refine the processes. A recruitment email was sent to physicians practicing full- or part-time in family medicine or general internal medicine. The pilot study took place in an online environment and eligible physicians were randomized to one of the systematic review formats (shortened or full-length) and instructed to read the document. Participants were asked to provide the clinical bottom line and apply the information presented to a clinical scenario. Participants' answers were evaluated independently by two investigators against "gold standard" answers prepared by an expert panel.Results: Fifty-six clinicians completed the pilot study within a 2-month period with a response rate of 4.3 %. Agreement between investigators in assessing participants' answers was determined by calculating a kappa statistic. Two questions were assessed separately, and a kappa statistic was calculated at 1.00 (100 % agreement) for each.Conclusions: Agreement between investigators in assessing participants' answers is satisfactory. Although recruitment for the pilot study was completed in a reasonable time-frame, response rates were low and will require large numbers of contacts. The results indicate that conducting a full-scale trial is feasible.Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02414360 .


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