Re-examining the evidence in radiation dermatitis management literature: An overview and a critical appraisal of systematic reviews

Raymond Javan Chan, Emily Larsen, Philip Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To provide an overview and a critical appraisal of systematic reviews (SRs) of published interventions for the prevention/management of radiation dermatitis. Methods and Materials: We searched Medline, CINAHL, Embase, and the Cochrane Library. We also manually searched through individual reference lists of potentially eligible articles and a number of key journals in the topic area. Two authors screened all potential articles and included eligible SRs. Two authors critically appraised and extracted key findings from the included reviews using AMSTAR (the measurement tool for "assessment of multiple systematic reviews"). Results: Of 1837 potential titles, 6 SRs were included. A number of interventions have been reported to be potentially beneficial for managing radiation dermatitis. Interventions evaluated in these reviews included skin care advice, steroidal/nonsteroidal topical agents, systemic therapies, modes of radiation delivery, and dressings. However, all the included SRs reported that there is insufficient evidence supporting any single effective intervention. The methodological quality of the included studies varied, and methodological shortfalls in these reviews might create biases to the overall results or recommendations for clinical practice. Conclusions: An up-to-date high-quality SR in the prevention/management of radiation dermatitis is needed to guide practice and direction for future research. We recommend that clinicians or guideline developers critically evaluate the information of SRs in their decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e357-e362
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Volume84
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

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