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Continuous vs Intermittent ^-Agonists in the Treatment of Acute Adult Asthma: Statistical Analysis

Continuous vs Intermittent ^-Agonists in the Treatment of Acute Adult Asthma: Statistical AnalysisThe two authors independently examined (title and abstract) the output generated from the search. Any potentially relevant articles were obtained, irrespective of the original language of publication. From the full text of potentially relevant articles, the reviewers assessed each study independently, in terms of population, intervention, study design, and outcome, to determine whether the study met the inclusion criteria. Reviewers were masked to the authors’ names, the name of journal, and the date of publication. Agreement among reviewers was measured using к statistics, and disagreement was settled by consensus. The methodological quality of each selected trial was assessed using the instrument of Jadad et al. This instrument evaluates the quality of randomization and blinding, and the reasons for withdrawal on a score of 0 (worst) to 5 (best).
For continuous variables, a random-effects standardized mean difference (SMD) or a weighted mean difference (WMD) and the 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated for each study. All similar studies were pooled using random-effects SMD or WMD and 95% CIs. The SMD, reported in SD units, was used when the change in the same pulmonary function test was reported in different units (ie, the weighted sum of each trials times the group mean difference divided by its pooled SD). Ventolin inhaler fully The WMD was reported for pulmonary function tests using the same unit of measure (ie, the weighted sum of each trial’s difference between the mean of the experimental and the control groups, reported on the same scale). The contribution of each trial to the pooled estimate was proportional to the inverse of the variance. The homogeneity of the effect size was tested with the method of DerSimonian and Laird, with p = 0.1 as the level of significance. Sensitivity analysis was performed to examine the effect on the results of the following: (1) the severity of airway obstruction (PEF or FEV-l < 50% of predicted vs > 50% of predicted); (2) the methodological quality (Jadad et al criteria, > 3 vs < 3); and (3) P-agonist dose (high vs low). The metaanalysis was done with a computer software package (Review Manager, version 4.1 2000; Cochrane Collaboration and Update Software).