Agreement between reported use of interventions for liver diseases and research evidence in Cochrane systematic reviews

J Hepatol. 2005 Dec;43(6):984-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2005.06.017. Epub 2005 Jul 12.


Background/aims: This study evaluates the agreement between reported use of interventions for patients with liver diseases and research evidence in Cochrane systematic reviews.

Methods: In July 2002, the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group had completed 28 systematic reviews on 36 interventions that were available in Denmark. Based on the reviews, three interventions (n-acetylcysteine for paracetamol overdose, terlipressin for bleeding oesophageal varices, and antibiotics for patients with cirrhosis and gastrointestinal bleeding) with significant beneficial effects on clinical outcomes were classified as 'evidence-based', whereas 19 were classified as 'possibly evidence-based', and 14 as 'not evidence-based'. Questionnaires on reported use and perceived intervention effects were mailed to 108 physicians practising in Danish hospitals. Sixty-six returned their questionnaire.

Results: The proportion of physicians who reported that they never used the three evidence-based interventions varied considerably (2, 62, and 57%, respectively). The perceived intervention effect, duration of clinical experience, employment as head of department, and university hospital employment were significant predictors of more frequent use of evidence-based interventions. Physicians also reported that they used the interventions that were not evidence-based more often if they were employed at a university hospital.

Conclusions: Considerable disagreements between reported use and research evidence were identified. Additional research on methods to introduce evidence-based medicine in practice seems warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / complications
  • Liver Diseases / etiology
  • Liver Diseases / therapy*
  • Professional Practice*
  • Review Literature as Topic