[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loneliness in older people is associated with poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We undertook a parallel-group randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of telephone befriending for the maintenance of HRQoL in older people. An internal pilot tested the feasibility of the trial and intervention.
Participants aged >74 years, with good cognitive function, living independently in one UK city were recruited through general practices and other sources, then randomised to: (1) 6 weeks of short one-to-one telephone calls, followed by 12 weeks of group telephone calls with up to six participants, led by a trained volunteer facilitator; or (2) a control group. The main trial required the recruitment of 248 participants in a 1-year accrual window, of whom 124 were to receive telephone befriending. The pilot specified three success criteria which had to be met in order to progress the main trial to completion: recruitment of 68 participants in 95 days; retention of 80% participants at 6 months; successful delivery of telephone befriending by local franchise of national charity. The primary clinical outcome was the Short Form (36) Health Instrument (SF-36) Mental Health (MH) dimension score collected by telephone 6 months following randomisation.
We informed 9,579 older people about the study. Seventy consenting participants were randomised to the pilot in 95 days, with 56 (80%) providing valid primary outcome data (26 intervention, 30 control). Twenty-four participants randomly allocated to the research arm actually received telephone befriending due to poor recruitment and retention of volunteer facilitators. The trial was closed early as a result. The mean 6-month SF-36 MH scores were 78 (SD 18) and 71 (SD 21) for the intervention and control groups, respectively (mean difference, 7; 95% CI, -3 to 16).
Recruitment and retention of participants to a definitive trial with a recruitment window of 1 year is feasible. For the voluntary sector to recruit sufficient volunteers to match demand for telephone befriending created by trial recruitment would require the study to be run in more than one major population centre, and/or involve dedicated management of volunteers.Trial registration: ISRCTN28645428.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: More evidence is needed on the potential role of 'booster' interventions in the maintenance of increases in physical activity levels after a brief intervention in relatively sedentary populations.
To determine whether objectively measured physical activity, 6 months after a brief intervention, is increased in those receiving physical activity 'booster' consultations delivered in a motivational interviewing (MI) style, either face to face or by telephone.
Three-arm, parallel-group, pragmatic, superiority randomised controlled trial with nested qualitative research fidelity and geographical information systems and health economic substudies. Treatment allocation was carried out using a web-based simple randomisation procedure with equal allocation probabilities. Principal investigators and study statisticians were blinded to treatment allocation until after the final analysis only.
Deprived areas of Sheffield, UK.
Previously sedentary people, aged 40-64 years, living in deprived areas of Sheffield, UK, who had increased their physical activity levels after receiving a brief intervention.
Participants were randomised to the control group (no further intervention) or to two sessions of MI, either face to face ('full booster') or by telephone ('mini booster'). Sessions were delivered 1 and 2 months post-randomisation.
The primary outcome was total energy expenditure (TEE) per day in kcal from 7-day accelerometry, measured using an Actiheart device (CamNtech Ltd, Cambridge, UK). Independent evaluation of practitioner competence was carried out using the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity assessment. An estimate of the per-participant intervention costs, resource use data collected by questionnaire and health-related quality of life data were analysed to produce a range of economic models from a short-term NHS perspective. An additional series of models were developed that used TEE values to estimate the long-term cost-effectiveness.
In total, 282 people were randomised (control = 96; mini booster = 92, full booster = 94) of whom 160 had a minimum of 4 out of 7 days' accelerometry data at 3 months (control = 61, mini booster = 47, full booster = 52). The mean difference in TEE per day between baseline and 3 months favoured the control arm over the combined booster arm but this was not statistically significant (-39 kcal, 95% confidence interval -173 to 95, p = 0.57). The autonomy-enabled MI communication style was generally acceptable, although some participants wanted a more paternalistic approach and most expressed enthusiasm for monitoring and feedback components of the intervention and research. Full boosters were more popular than mini boosters. Practitioners achieved and maintained a consistent level of MI competence. Walking distance to the nearest municipal green space or leisure facilities was not associated with physical activity levels. Two alternative modelling approaches both suggested that neither intervention was likely to be cost-effective.
Although some individuals do find a community-based, brief MI 'booster' intervention supportive, the low levels of recruitment and retention and the lack of impact on objectively measured physical activity levels in those with adequate outcome data suggest that it is unlikely to represent a clinically effective or cost-effective intervention for the maintenance of recently acquired physical activity increases in deprived middle-aged urban populations. Future research with middle-aged and relatively deprived populations should explore interventions to promote physical activity that require less proactive engagement from individuals, including environmental interventions.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN56495859, ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00836459.
This project was funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 18, No. 13. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.
Health technology assessment (Winchester, England). 02/2014; 18(13):1-210.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression is a common symptom in people with multiple sclerosis. We systematically reviewed published controlled trials on the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for the treatment of depression in people with multiple sclerosis.
Publications were identified using MEDLINE, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to June/July 2013. We combined thesaurus and free-text terms which were synonyms of the concepts multiple sclerosis, depression and cognitive behavioural therapy. We included published controlled trials which compared individual, group CBT, conducted face-to-face or remotely, to no CBT. Two reviewers extracted data to calculate standardized mean differences (SMD) for self-reported symptoms of depression and weighted mean differences (WMD) for the Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29), with 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs). We investigated statistical heterogeneity using I2.
Seven eligible studies (n = 433) were identified, which evaluated the effect on depression of CBT delivered individually (3 studies), in a group (3 studies) and by computer (1 study). The summary effect (SMD -0.61, 95% CI -0.96 to -0.26, p=0.0006) was reduced (SMD -0.46, 95% CI -0.75 to -0.17, p=0.002) when an outlying study was removed in a sensitivity analysis to examine statistical heterogeneity. Three studies (n=213) observed a direction of effect using the MSIS-29 which was not statistically significant (WMD -4.36, 95% CI -9.33 to 0.62, p=0.09). There was no between-subgroup heterogeneity (I2=0).
CBT can be an effective treatment for depression in MS. Further research should explore optimal durations and modalities of treatment for patients with different characteristics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Healthy, active ageing is strongly associated with good mental wellbeing which in turn helps to prevent mental illness. However, more investment has been made into research into interventions to prevent mental illness than into those designed to improve mental wellbeing. This applied research programme will provide high quality evidence for an intervention designed to improve and sustain mental wellbeing in older adults.
This study was a multi-centre, pragmatic, two-arm, parallel group, individually randomised controlled trial to determine the population benefit of an occupational therapy based intervention for community living people aged 65 years or older. Participants (n = 268) will be identified in one city in the North of England and in North Wales through GP mail-outs, signposting by local authority, primary care staff and voluntary sector organisations and through community engagement. Participants will be randomised to one of two treatment arms: an intervention (Lifestyle Matters programme); or control (routine access to health and social care). All participants will be assessed at baseline, 6 and 24 months post-randomisation. The primary outcome, which is a person reported outcome, is the SF-36 Mental Health dimension at six months post randomisation. Secondary outcome measures have been selected to measure psychosocial, physical and mental health outcomes. They include other dimensions of the SF36, EQ-5D-3L, Brief Resilience Scale, General Perceived Self Efficacy Scale, PHQ-9, de Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale, Health and Social Care Resource Use and the wellbeing question of the Integrated Household Survey 2011. A cost effectiveness analysis will investigate the incremental cost per Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) of the Lifestyle Matters intervention compared with treatment as usual.
The questions being posed through this research are important given the increasing numbers of older people, pressure on the public purse and the associated need to support good health in the extended lifespan. The proposed trial will determine the clinical and cost effectiveness of the intervention delivered in a UK context. The results will support commissioners and providers with decisions about implementation.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN67209155.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We read with interest the systematic review by Pucher et al  concerning the safety and efficacy of doppler-guided haemorrhoidal artery ligation. They are to be congratulated on their thorough review which demonstrates the large number of studies that have been published since the last such paper by Giordano et al . The increasingly wide range of options available to surgeons for the treatment of haemorrhoids differ considerably in terms of invasiveness, post-operative pain, convalescence time and, most importantly for the patient and the NHS, recurrence. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression and anxiety are very common in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and are associated with excess morbidity and mortality. Patients prefer non-drug treatments and clinical guidelines promote non-pharmacological interventions as first line therapy for depression and anxiety in people with long term conditions. However the comparative effectiveness of psychological and lifestyle interventions among COPD patients is not known. We assessed whether complex psychological and/or lifestyle interventions are effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with COPD. We then determined what types of psychological and lifestyle interventions are most effective.
Systematic review of randomised controlled trials of psychological and/or lifestyle interventions for adults with COPD that measured symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. CENTRAL, Medline, Embase, PsychINFO, CINAHL, ISI Web of Science and Scopus were searched up to April 2012. Meta-analyses using random effects models were undertaken to estimate the average effect of interventions on depression and anxiety. Thirty independent comparisons from 29 randomised controlled trials (n = 2063) were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, psychological and/or lifestyle interventions were associated with small reductions in symptoms of depression (standardised mean difference -0.28, 95% confidence interval -0.41 to -0.14) and anxiety (standardised mean difference -0.23, 95% confidence interval -0.38 to -0.09). Multi-component exercise training was the only intervention subgroup associated with significant treatment effects for depression (standardised mean difference -0.47, 95% confidence interval -0.66 to -0.28), and for anxiety (standardised mean difference -0.45, 95% confidence interval -0.71 to -0.18).
Complex psychological and/or lifestyle interventions that include an exercise component significantly improve symptoms of depression and anxiety in people with COPD. Furthermore, multi-component exercise training effectively reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression in all people with COPD regardless of severity of depression or anxiety, highlighting the importance of promoting physical activity in this population.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e60532. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Haemorrhoids (piles) are a very common condition seen in surgical clinics. After exclusion of more sinister causes of haemorrhoidal symptoms (rectal bleeding, perianal irritation and prolapse), the best option for treatment, depends upon persistence and severity of the symptoms. Minor symptoms often respond to conservative treatment such as dietary fibre and reassurance. For more severe symptoms treatment such as rubber band ligation may be therapeutic and is a very commonly performed procedure in the surgical outpatient setting. Surgery is usually reserved for those who have more severe symptoms, as well as those who do not respond to non-operative therapy; surgical techniques include haemorrhoidectomy and haemorrhoidopexy. More recently, haemorrhoidal artery ligation has been introduced as a minimally invasive, non destructive surgical option. There are substantial data in the literature concerning efficacy and safety of 'rubber band ligation including multiple comparisons with other interventions, though there are no studies comparing it to haemorrhoidal artery ligation. A recent overview has been carried out by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence which concludes that current evidence shows haemorrhoidal artery ligation to be a safe alternative to haemorrhoidectomy and haemorrhoidopexy though it also highlights the lack of good quality data as evidence for the advantages of the technique. Methods/design The aim of this study is to establish the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of haemorrhoidal artery ligation compared with conventional rubber band ligation in the treatment of people with symptomatic second or third degree (Grade II or Grade III) haemorrhoids. DESIGN: A multi-centre, parallel group randomised controlled trial. Outcomes: The primary outcome is patient-reported symptom recurrence twelve months following the intervention. Secondary outcome measures relate to symptoms, complications, health resource use, health related quality of life and cost effectiveness following the intervention. Participants: 350 patients with grade II or grade III haemorrhoids will be recruited in surgical departments in up to 14 NHS hospitals. Randomisation: A multi-centre, parallel group randomised controlled trial. Block randomisation by centre will be used, with 175 participants randomised to each group. DISCUSSION: The results of the research will help inform future practice for the treatment of grade II and III haemorrhoids. Trial Registration ISRCTN41394716.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: People with multiple sclerosis (MS) are at high risk of depression. We undertook a pilot trial of computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (CCBT) for the treatment of depression in people with MS to test the feasibility of undertaking a full trial.
Participants with a diagnosis of MS and clinical levels of depression were recruited through out-patient clinics and postal screening questionnaires at two UK centres and randomised to CCBT or usual care. Clinical outcomes included the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) and Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29) at baseline, 8 and 21 weeks. Feasibility outcomes included: recruitment rate; reasons for refusal, withdrawal and dropout; feasibility and acceptability of the proposed outcome measures; sample size estimation and variation in and preferences for service delivery.
Twenty-four participants were recruited. The recruitment rate, calculated as the proportion of those invited to fill in a screening questionnaire who were consented into the trial, was 4.1%. Recruitment through out-patient clinics was somewhat slower than through screening questionnaire mail-out but the overall recruitment yield was similar. Of the 12 patients in the CCBT arm, 9 (75%) completed at least four, and 6 completed all 8 CCBT sessions. For completers, the median time (IQR) to complete all eight CCBT sessions was 15 (13 to 20) weeks. Participants expressed concern about the face validity of the Beck Depression Inventory II for the measurement of self-reported depression in people with MS. The MSIS-29 was the patient-reported outcome measure which participants felt best reflected their concerns. The estimated sample size for a full trial is between 180 and 390 participants. NHS partners were not delivering CCBT in community facilities and participants preferred to access CCBT at home, with no one expressing a preference for use of CCBT in an alternative location.
A definitive trial, with a recruitment window of one year, would require the participation of around 13 MS centres. This number of centres could be reduced by expanding the eligibility criteria to include either other neurological conditions or people with more severe depression. The MSIS-29 should be used as a patient-important outcome measurement.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antioxidants, such as vitamin A, C and E, selenium and β-carotene, have been proposed as possible agents in the chemoprevention of colorectal cancer and have been the subject of recent trials and reviews. This review aimed to assess the present evidence on the effect of antioxidants on the incidence of colorectal neoplasms in the general population.
A systematic review of randomized controlled trials was undertaken comparing antioxidants alone or in combination with other agents vs placebo. The following databases were searched for published and unpublished literature: Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, PreMEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Biological Abstracts and Research Registers. Studies were quality appraised and extracted. Meta-analysis was performed.
Twelve studies were identified as relevant. In the nine comparing antioxidants with no antioxidants (n=148 922), there was no difference in the incidence of colorectal cancer [relative risk (RR) 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.88-1.13]. One study assessed the effect of antioxidants on adenoma formation (n=15 538) and did not demonstrate a statistically significant effect (RR 1.47, 95% CI 0.97-2.23). Of 14 discrete analyses for different combinations of antioxidants, only one reported a statistically significant increase in relative risk of adenoma formation in participants receiving vitamin E (RR 1.74, 95% CI 1.09-1.79, P=0.02) or vitamin E plus β-carotene (RR 1.63, 95% CI 1.01-2.63, P=0.04). Effectiveness did not seem to differ between healthy populations, participants with cardiovascular risk factors or populations exposed to smoking or asbestos.
The review demonstrates that antioxidants (vitamin A, C and E, selenium and β-carotene), as single agents, in combination with other antioxidants or in combination with other agents, are not effective in the chemoprevention of colorectal neoplasia in the general population. This questions their involvement in future randomized controlled trials of chemoprevention in colorectal cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The burden of lung cancer is high for patients and carers. Care after treatment may have the potential to impact on this. We reviewed the published literature on follow-up strategies intended to improve survival and quality of life.
We systematically reviewed studies comparing follow-up regimes in lung cancer. Primary outcomes were overall survival (comparing more intensive versus less intensive follow-up) and survival comparing symptomatic with asymptomatic recurrence. Quality of life was identified as a secondary outcome measure. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals from eligible studies were synthesized.
Nine studies that examined the role of more intensive follow-up for patients with lung cancer were included (eight observational studies and one randomized controlled trial). The studies of curative resection included patients with non-small cell lung cancer Stages I to III disease, and studies of palliative treatment follow-up included limited and extensive stage patients with small cell lung cancer. A total of 1669 patients were included in the studies. Follow-up programs were heterogeneous and multifaceted. A nonsignificant trend for intensive follow-up to improve survival was identified, for the curative intent treatment subgroup (HR: 0.83; 95% confidence interval: 0.66-1.05). Asymptomatic recurrence was associated with increased survival, which was statistically significant HR: 0.61 (0.50-0.74) (p < 0.01); quality of life was only assessed in one study.
This meta-analysis must be interpreted with caution due to the potential for bias in the included studies: observed benefit may be due to systematic differences in outcomes rather than intervention effects. Some benefit was noted from intensive follow-up strategies. More robust data, in the form of randomized controlled trials, are needed to confirm these findings as the review is based primarily on observational studies. Future research should also include patient-centered outcomes to investigate the impact of follow-up regimes on living with lung cancer and psychosocial well-being.
Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 09/2011; 6(12):1993-2004. · 4.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies have indicated that aspirin chemoprevention may be effective in preventing colorectal cancer within the general population, and aspirin, celecoxib, and calcium may be effective in preventing adenomas within those people who have previously undergone polypectomy.
To assess the cost-effectiveness of aspirin, celecoxib, and calcium chemoprevention in the context of the fecal occult blood test screening program.
An existing state transition model developed to assess colorectal cancer screening options was modified to incorporate the costs and outcomes associated with chemoprevention. Relative risks of disease progression were incorporated based on the effectiveness of the chemopreventive agents. Additional benefits and harms associated with chemoprevention were included. Sensitivity analyses were undertaken.
Aspirin chemoprevention plus screening within the general population aged 50 to 60 years is estimated to cost £23,000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained compared with screening alone (based on 2008 prices). For individuals who have undergone polypectomy, calcium is estimated to cost between £8000 and £30,000 per QALY gained depending on the starting and stopping age of the chemoprevention policy. Based on current evidence, calcium has a higher probability than aspirin of providing value for money within this population, although the long-term benefits and harms are subject to considerable uncertainty. Celecoxib chemoprevention is unlikely to be considered to be cost-effective.
Calcium chemoprevention is likely to be a cost-effective option for individuals who have undergone polypectomy. Further research is required to assess the long-term benefits and harms of calcium compared with aspirin chemoprevention. Chemoprevention appears less economically attractive within the general population.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sensationalized reporting styles and a distorted framing of health-care issues in newspapers may trigger inappropriate commissioning decisions. We evaluated UK press coverage of pre-licensing access to trastuzumab (Herceptin) for early breast cancer as a case study.
Content analysis of newspaper articles published between April 2005 and May 2006 were coded by two researchers for interest groups represented, claims made and sensationalized reporting. Disagreements in coding were resolved by a third researcher. One thousand and ninety published articles were identified in the study period and a 20% sample (n = 218) was included in the content analysis. Most articles (76%, 95% CI 71-82) included claims about the clinical benefits of trastuzumab, and this was significantly higher than those expressing the uncertainty surrounding such benefits (6%, 95% CI 3-9) or those that discussed the potential harms (5%, 95% CI 2-8). Articles were significantly more likely to feature claims made by a breast cancer survivor or family member than any other interest group (P < 0.0001). Almost half of the articles carried some message to the effect that trastuzumab would make the difference between life and death (47%, 95% CI 40-53). Over a quarter (28%, 95% CI 22-34) suggested that trastuzumab is a 'miracle drug' or similar.
The benefits of drugs are highlighted, frequently using sensationalist language, without equal consideration of uncertainty or risks. Health-care purchasers should express decisions in opportunity cost terms; journalists should give fairer coverage to such arguments.
Health expectations: an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy 03/2011; 14(1):38-47. · 1.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systematic reviews have identified a range of brief interventions which increase physical activity in previously sedentary people. A randomised controlled trial is needed to assess whether providing motivational interviewing, three months after giving initial advice, sustains physical activity levels in those who recently became physically active. This paper reports the results of an internal pilot study designed to test the feasibility of the study in terms of recruitment, per protocol delivery of the intervention and retention at three months.
Participants were: aged 40-64 years; resident in deprived areas of Sheffield, UK; and, had recently become physically active as a result of using a brief intervention following an invitation from a mass mail out. Interventions: Motivational Interviewing 'boosters' aimed at sustaining change in physical activity status delivered face-to-face or over the telephone compared with no further intervention. Outcomes of the feasibility study: recruitment of 60 participants from mail out of 3,300; retention of 45 participants with 3-month follow-up accelerometry measurements; 70% of those randomised to boosters receiving intervention per protocol. Sample size and power were recalculated using the accelerometry data collected.
Forty-seven participants were randomised (78% of the feasibility target); 37 participants were retained at three months, 29 with at least four days of accelerometry data (64% of the feasibility target); 79% of those allocated boosters received them per protocol (surpassing the feasibility target). The proposed sample size of 600 was confirmed as appropriate and power is expected to be sufficient to detect a difference between groups.
The main study will continue with the original recruitment target of 600 participants but to ensure feasibility, it is necessary to increase recruitment and improve the numbers of those followed-up who have evaluable data. Strategies will include increasing the number of initial invitations sent out and improving the training of research assistants and participants in the positioning of the accelerometer.
BMC Public Health 02/2011; 11:129. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in the UK: incidence increases with age, median age at diagnosis being over 70 years. Approximately 25% of cases occur in individuals with a family history of CRC, including 5% caused by familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis CRC (HNPCC). Most develop from adenomatous polyps arising from the intestine lining. Individuals with these polyps undergo polypectomy and are invited for endoscopic surveillance. Screening via faecal occult blood testing has been rolled out across the UK.
To evaluate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of drug and micronutrient interventions for the prevention of CRC and/or adenomatous polyps. Interventions considered include: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin and cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors; folic acid; calcium; vitamin D and antioxidants (including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and beta-carotene). Chemoprevention was assessed in the general population, in individuals at increased risk of CRC, and in individuals with FAP or HNPCC.
A systematic review identified randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing drug and nutritional agents for the prevention of CRC or adenomatous polyps. A separate search identified qualitative studies relating to individuals' views, attitudes and beliefs about chemoprevention. MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, CINAHL, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane CENTRAL Register of Controlled Trials, DARE, NHS-EED (NHS Economic Evaluation Database), HTA database, Science Citation Index, BIOSIS previews and the Current Controlled Trials research register were searched in June 2008. Data were extracted by one reviewer and checked by a second.
The synthesis methods used were systematic review and meta-analysis for RCTs and qualitative framework synthesis for qualitative studies. A health economic model was developed to assess the cost-effectiveness of chemoprevention for two populations with different levels of risk of developing CRC: the general population and an intermediate-risk population.
The search identified 44 relevant RCTs and six ongoing studies. A small study of aspirin in FAP patients produced no statistically significant reduction in polyp number but a possible reduction in polyp size. There was a statistically significant 21% reduction in risk of adenoma recurrence [relative risk (RR) 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.68 to 0.92] in an analysis of aspirin versus no aspirin in individuals with a history of adenomas or CRC. In the general population, a significant 26% reduction in CRC incidence was demonstrated in studies with a 23-year follow-up (RR 0.74, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.97). Non-aspirin NSAID use in FAP individuals produced a non-statistically significant reduction in adenoma incidence after 4 years of treatment and follow-up and reductions in polyp number and size. In individuals with a history of adenomas there was a statistically significant 34% reduction in adenoma recurrence risk (RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.72) and a statistically significant 55% reduction in advanced adenoma incidence (RR 0.45, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.58). No studies assessed the effect of non-aspirin NSAIDs in the general population. There were no studies of folic acid in individuals with FAP or HNPCC. There was no significant effect of folic acid versus placebo on adenoma recurrence (RR 1.16, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.39) or advanced adenoma incidence in individuals with a history of adenomas. In the general population there was no significant effect of folic acid on risk of CRC (RR 1.13, 95% CI 0.77 to 1.64), although studies were of relatively short duration. Calcium use by FAP patients produced no significant reduction in polyp number or disease progression. In individuals with a history of adenomas there was a statistically significant 18% reduction in risk of adenoma recurrence (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.69 to 0.98) and a non-significant reduction in risk of advanced adenomas (RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.50 to 1.17). In the general population there was no significant effect of calcium on risk of CRC (RR 1.08, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.34), although studies were of relatively short duration. There were no studies of antioxidant use in individuals with FAP or HNPCC, and in individuals with a history of adenomas no statistically significant differences in relative risk of adenoma recurrence were found. In the general population there was no difference in incidence of CRC (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.13) with antioxidant use compared with no antioxidant use. Twenty studies reported qualitative findings concerning chemoprevention. People are more likely to use NSAIDs if there is a strong perceived need. Perceptions of risk and benefit also influence decision-making and use. People have fewer concerns about using antioxidants or other supplements, but their perception of the benefits of these agents is less well-defined. The model analysis suggested that the most cost-effective age-range policy in the general population would be to provide chemoprevention to all individuals within the general population from age 50 to 60 years. The use of aspirin in addition to screening within the general population is likely to result in a discounted cost per life-year gained of around 10,000 pounds and a discounted cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained of around 23,000 pounds compared with screening alone. In the intermediate-risk group the most economically viable age-range policy would be to provide chemoprevention to individuals following polypectomy aged 61 to 70 years. Calcium is likely to have a discounted cost per QALY gained of around 8000 pounds compared with screening alone. Although aspirin in addition to screening should be more effective and less costly than screening alone, under the current assumptions of benefits to harms of aspirin and calcium, aspirin is expected to be extendedly dominated by calcium.
Whilst a number of studies were included in the review, the duration of follow-up was generally insufficient to detect an effect on cancer incidence. Given the uncertainties and ambiguities in the evidence base, the results of the health economic analysis should be interpreted with caution.
Aspirin and celecoxib may reduce recurrence of adenomas and incidence of advanced adenomas in individuals with an increased risk of CRC and calcium may reduce recurrence of adenomas in this group. COX-2 inhibitors may decrease polyp number in patients with FAP. There is some evidence for aspirin reducing the incidence of CRC in the general population. Both aspirin and NSAIDs are associated with adverse effects so it will be important to consider the risk-benefit ratio before recommending these agents for chemoprevention. The economic analysis suggests that chemoprevention has the potential to represent a cost-effective intervention, particularly when targeted at intermediate-risk populations following polypectomy.
Health technology assessment (Winchester, England). 06/2010; 14(32):1-206.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the review was to assess the evidence for the effectiveness of calcium in reducing the recurrence of adenomas and the occurrence of colorectal cancer among populations at high, intermediate, and low risk of the disease.
A systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was performed to compare calcium alone, and with other agents, versus placebo. Nine databases (Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, PreMEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, Web of Science, Biological Abstracts, the National Research Register, and Current Controlled Trials) were searched for published and unpublished trials. Searches were not restricted by either language or date of publication. All searches were completed in January 2010. Database thesaurus and free text terms for calcium and adenomas or colorectal cancer were used to search for trial reports; additional terms were used to search for other agents of interest, such as NSAIDs and folic acid. Search terms consisted of a combination of terms for colorectal cancer (eg, colon or colorectal and neoplasm or cancer or adenoma) and terms for calcium and RCTs. The initial searches were conducted in June 2008, with update searches in January 2010 to identify more recent studies. The reference lists of relevant studies were also searched for additional papers not identified by the search of electronic databases. Studies had to satisfy the following criteria to be included: RCTs about calcium, with or without other chemopreventive agents, in adults with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, or a history of colorectal adenomas, or with no increased baseline risk of colorectal cancer. Meta-analysis was performed. For discrete and numerical outcomes, relative risks (RRs) and risk differences were reported with 95% CIs. The random-effects model was used to account for clinical and methodologic variations between trials.
The original and update searches of electronic databases produced 3835 citations, of which 6 studies (8 papers) met the inclusion criteria. Supplemental calcium had no effect on the number of adenomas in 1 small trial of patients with FAP. Meta-analysis of 3 trials in individuals with a history of adenomas showed a statistically significant reduction in the RR for adenoma recurrence (RR = 0.80 [95% CI, 0.69-0.94], P = 0.006) for those receiving calcium 1200 to 2000 mg/d, but no effect was seen in advanced adenoma (RR = 0.77 [95% CI, 0.501.17], P = NS). Meta-analysis of 2 trials in populations with no increased baseline risk for colorectal cancer suggested that calcium, with or without vitamin D, had no effect on the RR for colorectal cancer (RR = 0.62 [95% CI, 0.11-3.40], P = NS).
Published reports indicated that supplemental calcium was effective for the prevention of adenoma recurrence in populations with a history of adenomas, but no similar effect was apparent in populations at higher or lower risk.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Folic acid has been identified as a possible agent for the chemoprevention of colorectal cancer.
To assess the effectiveness of folic acid in reducing the recurrence of adenomas (precursors of colorectal cancer) among populations with a history of adenomas and the incidence of colorectal cancer within average-risk populations.
Systematic review of randomized controlled trials comparing folic acid alone, or with other agents, vs. placebo. Eight databases were searched for relevant trials. Meta-analysis was performed.
The literature search retrieved 3785 citations. Six studies met the inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis of three studies in individuals with a history of adenomas showed no statistically significant difference in the relative risk of adenoma recurrence (RR 0.93, P = 0.27). A sensitivity analysis of the two higher quality trials changed the direction of effect (RR 1.16, P = 0.11). Meta-analysis of three trials in general populations demonstrated no statistically significant effect on the relative risk of colorectal cancer (RR 1.13, P = 0.54). In all three analyses, outcome event rates were higher in individuals receiving folic acid.
There is no evidence that folic acid is effective in the chemoprevention of colorectal adenomas or colorectal cancer for any population.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systematic reviews have identified a range of brief interventions which increase physical activity in previously sedentary people. There is an absence of evidence about whether follow up beyond three months can maintain long term physical activity. This study assesses whether it is worth providing motivational interviews, three months after giving initial advice, to those who have become more active.
Study candidates (n = 1500) will initially be given an interactive DVD and receive two telephone follow ups at monthly intervals checking on receipt and use of the DVD. Only those that have increased their physical activity after three months (n = 600) will be randomised into the study. These participants will receive either a "mini booster" (n = 200), "full booster" (n = 200) or no booster (n = 200). The "mini booster" consists of two telephone calls one month apart to discuss physical activity and maintenance strategies. The "full booster" consists of a face-to-face meeting with the facilitator at the same intervals. The purpose of these booster sessions is to help the individual maintain their increase in physical activity. Differences in physical activity, quality of life and costs associated with the booster interventions, will be measured three and nine months from randomisation. The research will be conducted in 20 of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Sheffield, which have large, ethnically diverse populations, high levels of economic deprivation, low levels of physical activity, poorer health and shorter life expectancy. Participants will be recruited through general practices and community groups, as well as by postal invitation, to ensure the participation of minority ethnic groups and those with lower levels of literacy. Sheffield City Council and Primary Care Trust fund a range of facilities and activities to promote physical activity and variations in access to these between neighbourhoods will make it possible to examine whether the effectiveness of the intervention is modified by access to community facilities. A one-year integrated feasibility study will confirm that recruitment targets are achievable based on a 10% sample.
The choice of study population, study interventions, brief intervention preceding the study, and outcome measure are discussed.
Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN56495859; ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00836459.
BMC Public Health 01/2010; 10:3. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The standard treatment for operable breast cancer is some form of surgery followed by a combination of adjuvant therapies,
such as radiotherapy, endocrine therapy, chemotherapy, and Trastuzumab. Primary endocrine therapy (PET), by comparison, is
the use of an antiestrogen as the sole method of treatment for early stage, operable, estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast
cancer in women who may be less able to tolerate standard therapy.
PET is widely used in the treatment of older, frailer women in the UK. It has much to recommend it from the perspective of
both the patients and their health care professional. From the patients’ point of view, it may allow the complete avoidance
of surgery with all its physical and psychological morbidity. From the perspective of the health care professional, it may
be as effective at systemic disease control, with no significant mortality disadvantage in women over the age of 75. It may
also be less costly, though a formal health economic assessment has never been undertaken to compare PET with standard surgical
care. Local disease control rates, however,are inferior as some women will develop endocrine resistant disease and require
surgery at a later stage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper presents a summary of the submission's evidence for the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of varenicline for smoking cessation included four studies of varenicline (one of which was commercial-in-confidence) and a meta-analysis of varenicline versus nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), bupropion and placebo. Two controlled trials of 12 weeks of varenicline versus sustained-release bupropion and placebo suggested that varenicline results in a statistically significant improvement in the odds of quitting at 12 weeks [odds ratio (OR) for quit rate during last 4 weeks of the study: 1.90-1.93 (p < 0.001) varenicline versus bupropion; 3.85 (p < 0.001) varenicline versus placebo). The ORs for sustained abstinence (weeks 9-52) for varenicline versus bupropion were 1.77 (p = 0.004) and 1.46 (p = 0.057), and for varenicline versus placebo were 2.66-3.09 (p < 0.01). A placebo-controlled maintenance trial examined whether a further 12 weeks of varenicline would maintain the rate of abstinence among those successfully treated on one 12-week course [OR = 2.48 at week 24 for varenicline versus placebo (p < 0.001)]. The meta-analysis suggested that varenicline was superior to placebo and bupropion at 1 year and 3 months. Based on indirect comparisons, varenicline was reported to be superior to NRT when compared with placebo or all controls at 1 year and 3 months. The submission presented a state transition model to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of varenicline compared with bupropion, NRT and placebo. The model suggests that varenicline dominates bupropion, NRT and placebo.Treatment efficacy was based on a pooled analysis of 1-year quit rates from the varenicline clinical trials. Assuming a willingness-to-pay threshold range of 20,000-30,000 pounds per quality-adjusted life-year gained, the probabilistic sensitivity analysis suggests that the probability that varenicline produces the greatest amount of net benefit is 0.70. Weaknesses of the manufacturer's submission include the assumption that only a single quit attempt using a single smoking cessation intervention is made, the presence of multiple computational errors and a limited sensitivity analysis. In conclusion, varenicline is likely to be clinically and cost-effective for smoking cessation assuming that each user makes a single quit attempt. The key area of uncertainty concerns the long-term experience of subjects who have remained abstinent from smoking beyond 12 months. The guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in July 2007 states that varenicline is recommended within its licensed indications as an option for smokers who have expressed a desire to quit smoking and that varenicline should normally be prescribed only as part of a programme of behavioral support.
Health technology assessment (Winchester, England). 09/2009; 13 Suppl 2:9-13.