(1/202) Osteoporosis: review of guidelines and consensus statements.

This activity is designed for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, health planners, directors of managed care organizations, and payers of health services. GOAL: To understand current guidelines and consensus statements regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis. OBJECTIVE: List four national or international organizations involved in the development of consensus statements regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis. 2. Discuss the significant differences among different countries regarding the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. 3. List the major risk factors for osteoporosis. 4. Describe the differences in the application of bone mineral density scans, biochemical markers, and ultrasound in evaluating patients with suspected osteopenia and osteoporosis. 5. Distinguish between and briefly discuss therapeutic modalities used in primary prevention, secondary prevention, and treatment of osteoporosis. 6. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of estrogen/hormone replacement therapy. 7. Describe alternatives to estrogen/hormone replacement therapy.  (+info)

(2/202) A new method of developing expert consensus practice guidelines.

To improve the quality of medical care while reducing costs, it is necessary to standardize best practice habits at the most crucial clinical decision points. Because many pertinent questions encountered in everyday practice are not well answered by the available research, expert consensus is a valuable bridge between clinical research and clinical practice. Previous methods of developing expert consensus have been limited by their relative lack of quantification, specificity, representativeness, and implementation. This article describes a new method of developing, documenting, and disseminating expert consensus guidelines that meets these concerns. This method has already been applied to four disorders in psychiatry and could be equally useful for other medical conditions. Leading clinical researchers studying a given disorder complete a survey soliciting their opinions on its most important disease management questions that are not covered well by definitive research. The survey response rates among the experts for the four different psychiatric disorders have each exceeded 85%. The views of the clinical researchers are validated by surveying separately a large group of practicing clinicians to ensure that the guideline recommendations are widely generalizable. All of the suggestions made in the guideline are derived from, and referenced to, the experts' survey responses using criteria that were established a priori for defining first-, second-, and third-line choices. Analysis of survey results suggests that this method of quantifying expert responses achieves a high level of reliability and reproducibility. This survey method is probably the best available means for standardizing practice for decisions points not well covered by research.  (+info)

(3/202) Formal consensus and consultation: a qualitative method for development of a guideline for dementia.

OBJECTIVES: To use a formal consensus method--the nominal group technique--for developing a clinical practice guideline to improve the diagnosis, needs assessment, and management of dementia at the primary/secondary care interface. To assess the usefulness of this method in an area where there is a dearth of clinical trials thus precluding an evidence-based approach. DESIGN: A qualitative and iterative method was used. The guideline was developed by an expert panel using the nominal group technique, incorporating the deliberations of a Primary Care Professionals' Task Group, recent reviews in the scientific literature, information from semistructured interviews with local specialists, and a local questionnaire survey. SETTING: Mainly Bristol but incorporating other parts of the United Kingdom especially the south and west. SUBJECTS: Expert panel group (including users and non-statutory organisations), local general practitioners (GPs), professionals carrying out the health check for people over 75, local geriatricians and psychogeriatricians, and primary care professionals with an interest in dementia. MAIN MEASURES: Items important in dementia from the nominal group in response to three questions on diagnosis, needs assessment, and management, ranked into a series of top 10 items for each area and allocated a score according to relative importance to each member; summary outputs from the questionnaire survey, semistructured interviews, and primary care professionals' task group. RESULTS: A clinical practice guideline covering diagnosis, needs assessment, and management of dementia in primary care was produced in the form of an algorithm and a management sheet. CONCLUSIONS: A formal consensus method can be used as an acceptable alternative to the evidence-based approach when developing guidelines in situations in which evidence is scarce, in which the guideline is intended as an aid in linking different stages of care, and in which practical and political considerations--such as the links between agencies--are important.  (+info)

(4/202) Recommendations for the management of irritable bowel syndrome in family practice. IBS Consensus Conference Participants.

To help family physicians manage patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a consensus conference was convened in June 1997 at which 5 internationally recognized experts in IBS presented position papers on selected topics previously circulated to the conference participants. Five working groups comprising family physicians, gastroenterologists and allied health care professionals from across Canada were then charged with developing recommendations for the diagnosis, patient education, psychosocial management, dietary advice and pharmacotherapy, respectively. An evidence-based approach was used where possible; otherwise, recommendations were made by consensus. The participants concluded that family physicians can make a positive diagnosis of IBS using symptom criteria. The pathophysiology is poorly understood, but motility and sensory disturbances appear to play a role. Neither psychological nor specific dietary factors cause IBS, but both can trigger symptoms. Drug therapy is not recommended for the routine treatment of IBS, but short-term trials of drug therapy may be targeted to predominant symptoms in selected patients. A step-wise, patient-centred approach to management is outlined.  (+info)

(5/202) Gastric precancerous lesions: heading for an international consensus.

As pathological criteria lie at the foundation for the classification of many diseases, a crucial requisite for such classifications to be valid is that their morphological basis be standardised. Inadequately standardised diagnostic criteria result in unacceptable interobserver variation, a factor that may influence both individual patient care and the evaluation of clinical protocols. One of the most important goals in gastric diseases today is to establish whether cure of Helicobacter pylori is an effective preventive measure against gastric cancer. To tackle this issue it is necessary to measure reliably intermediate outcomes, specifically gastric atrophy and dysplasia. However, there is little agreement on what gastric atrophy and atrophic gastritis are, and treatment and follow up results obtained at one clinical centre are often radically different from those obtained at another. Similarly, studies that examine the fate of dysplastic lesions in the stomach show a great divergence of outcomes between Europe and North America and Japan, where the concept of dysplasia has different connotations. To reach a consensus on the definitions and diagnostic criteria for atrophy and atrophic gastritis, a group of gastrointestinal pathologists and gastroenterologists met in Houston, Texas, USA, in February 1998. Substantive progress was made, but several problems remained, and a study aimed at resolving the issues that seem to stand in the way of an international agreement is currently underway. To fulfil the need for a broad discussion on the diagnostic differences of gastric dysplasia and cancer between East and West, an international group of pathologists gathered in Padova, Italy, in the spring of 1998. Their main objectives were: (1) to agree on the definitions of the spectrum of gastric preneoplastic lesions; (2) to establish an international glossary for gastric precancerous lesions; and (3) to test the consensus and eventually generate guidelines useful to clinicians for the development of management strategies. A consensus was achieved on the definition of gastric dysplasia as preinvasive neoplasia. Other validation studies are underway. The experiences achieved in the search for an international consensus on the phenotypes of atrophic gastritis and gastric dysplasia may represent a model in dealing with the new scenario of a modern evidence-based pathology.  (+info)

(6/202) Practical considerations in the use of tacrolimus for allogeneic marrow transplantation.

Tacrolimus has been shown to be more effective than cyclosporine for prevention of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). A number of transplant centers have therefore adopted tacrolimus as standard prophylaxis, but with additional experience, current management of tacrolimus differs from that in the clinical studies. Therefore, a consensus conference was convened to assess the current practices. For prevention of GVHD, conference participants recommended administering tacrolimus at 0.03 mg/kg/day (by lean body weight) i.v. by continuous infusion from day -1 or -2 pretransplant, with day -2 used especially for pediatric patients. Therapeutic drug monitoring was considered essential in the management of patients on tacrolimus. The consensus target range for the whole blood concentration was 10-20 ng/ml. Doses were modified for blood levels outside the target range or for nephrotoxicity, and tacrolimus was discontinued for intolerable tremor, hemolytic uremic syndrome, leukoencephalopathy or other serious toxicity. Tacrolimus was employed most frequently in combination with minimethotrexate (5 mg/m2 i.v. days 1, 3, 6 and 11). Tapering was individualized according to center practice. No patient category was excluded from use of tacrolimus based on age, extent of disease, patient-donor histocompatibility or stem cell source. Tacrolimus was also used successfully for treatment of chronic GVHD. The responsiveness of steroid-refractory acute GVHD was marginal, so it was deemed more prudent to use tacrolimus for prophylaxis instead.  (+info)

(7/202) The Southampton examination schedule for the diagnosis of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb.

OBJECTIVES: Following a consensus statement from a multidisciplinary UK workshop, a structured examination schedule was developed for the diagnosis and classification of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb. The aim of this study was to test the repeatability and the validity of the newly developed schedule in a hospital setting. METHOD: 43 consecutive referrals to a soft tissue rheumatism clinic (group 1) and 45 subjects with one of a list of specific upper limb disorders (including shoulder capsulitis, rotator cuff tendinitis, lateral epicondylitis and tenosynovitis) (group 2), were recruited from hospital rheumatology and orthopaedic outpatient clinics. All 88 subjects were examined by a research nurse (blinded to diagnosis), and everyone from group 1 was independently examined by a rheumatologist. Between observer agreement was assessed among subjects from group 1 by calculating Cohen's kappa for dichotomous physical signs, and mean differences with limits of agreement for measured ranges of joint movement. To assess the validity of the examination, a pre-defined algorithm was applied to the nurse's examination findings in patients from both groups, and the sensitivity and specificity of the derived diagnoses were determined in comparison with the clinic's independent diagnosis as the reference standard. RESULTS: The between observer repeatability of physical signs varied from good to excellent, with kappa coefficients of 0.66 to 1.00 for most categorical observations, and mean absolute differences of 1.4 degrees -11.9 degrees for measurements of shoulder movement. The sensitivity of the schedule in comparison with the reference standard varied between diagnoses from 58%-100%, while the specificities ranged from 84%-100%. The nurse and the clinic physician generally agreed in their diagnoses, but in the presence of shoulder capsulitis the nurse usually also diagnosed shoulder tendinitis, whereas the clinic physician did not. CONCLUSION: The new examination protocol is repeatable and gives acceptable diagnostic accuracy in a hospital setting. Examination can feasibly be delegated to a trained nurse, and the protocol has the benefit of face and construct validity as well as consensus backing. Its performance in the community, where disease is less clear cut, merits separate evaluation, and further refinement is needed to discriminate between discrete pathologies at the shoulder.  (+info)

(8/202) Mature B-cell lymphoma/leukemia in children and adolescents: intergroup pathologist consensus with the revised European-American Lymphoma Classification.

BACKGROUND: The Revised European-American Lymphoma (R.E.A.L.) Classification criteria were evaluated in the international protocol FAB LMB 96 Treatment of Mature B-cell Lymphoma/Leukemia: A SFOP LMB 96/CCG-5961/UKCCSG NHL 9600 Cooperative Study. This includes B-lineage lymphomas: Burkitt's lymphoma (including ALL-L3); high-grade B-cell lymphoma, Burkitt-like; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (excluding anaplastic large cell Ki-1 lymphoma). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Cases were independently reviewed by eight hematopathologists from the three cooperative national groups (two SFOP, two CCG, four UKCCSG), without prior discussion of classification criteria or guidelines for case rejection. Consensus diagnosis was determined by each national cooperative group, and final consensus diagnosis established when at least two national consensus diagnoses were in agreement, or following group agreement at a multiheaded microscope. RESULTS: Two hundred eight cases were reviewed, with final consensus diagnosis established in two hundred three. The percent agreement of each group's national consensus diagnosis with final consensus diagnosis was 86%, 86% and 71%. The percent agreement of the group's national consensus diagnosis with final consensus diagnosis for Burkitt's and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma were 88% and 80%, respectively, but only 42% for Burkitt-like lymphoma. CONCLUSIONS: International panel review of mature B-cell lymphoma/leukemia in children and adolescents highlighted difficulties in subclassification, particularly with Burkitt-like, which is a 'provisional entity' in the R.E.A.L. Classification. The absence of previous discussion of classification and guidelines for case rejection may in part explain the discrepancy between pathologists. These results underline that morphology may need to be complemented by other studies, such as molecular genetic and cytogenetics, to discriminate between the mature B-cell lymphomas.  (+info)