Table 2

Appraisal of studies by study design using CASP [7 ]tools
Study design type Article number [Ref] Did review address a clearly focussed question? Did authors look for appropriate sorts of papers? Were important relevant studies included? Has quality of studies been assessed Was it reason-able to combine results? Are overall results clear? How precise are results Can results be generalised Were all important outcomes considered Is study supportive of the intervention? Validity score
Review 1. [38] Y Y Y Y Y Y n/a Y Y Y 8/8
2. [41] Y N N Y N Y n/a N Y Y 4/8
3. [40] Y Y Y N Y Y n/a N Y Y 6/8
4. [39] Y Y Y U Y Y n/a Y Y Y 7/8
RCT Did trial address a clearly focussed issue? Were participant randomised? Where all patients accounted for at conclusion? Was the study blinded? Were groups similar at the start of the trial? Were groups treated equally aside from intervention? Was the effect significant? Was the effect measured with precision? Is study general-isible Were all out-comes consider-ed Is the study supportive of the intervention?
5. [42] Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 9/10
6. [45] Y N Y N Y Y n/a n/a N n/a Y 5/8
7. [10] Y Y Y N Y Y n/a n/a N U Y 6/10
8. [3] Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 9/10

Other quant

itative design

Did the study address a clearly focussed issue? Did the authors use appropriate methods to answer their questions? Acceptable recruitment? Was exposure measured to minimize bias? Was the outcome measured to minimise bias? Have the authors identified all confounding factors? Was follow-up com-plete? Are the results statistic-ally significant? Are the results plausible? Are the results genera-lisible Do the results fit with other evidence? Is the study supportive of the intervention?
9. [11] Y Y Y Y U U Y N Y Y Y Y 8/11
10. [15] Y Y Y Y Y Y n/a n/a Y Y Y Y 9/11
11. [16] y Y Y Y U U n/a n/a Y Y Y Y 7/11
12. [36] Y Y U Y Y U n/a n/a Y N Y Y 7/11
13. [13] Y Y U Y U Y n/a n/a Y N Y U 7/11
14. [28] Y N Y Y N N Y Y Y N Y Y 7/11
15. [24] Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y U 11/11

Y= yes, N= no, U= unclear, n/a= not applicable.

Bradford et al.

Bradford et al. BMC Palliative Care 2013 12:4   doi:10.1186/1472-684X-12-4

Open Data