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Anttila S.,SBU Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment | Persson J.,Lund University | Vareman N.,Lund University | Sahlin N.-E.,Lund University
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology | Year: 2016

Objectives: The objective of our article is to show how "quality of evidence" and "imprecision," as they are defined in Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) articles, may lead to confusion. We focus only on the context of systematic reviews. Study Design and Setting: We analyze, with the aid of standard probabilistic and statistical concepts, the concepts of quality of evidence and imprecision as used in the GRADE framework. This enables us to point out some weaknesses in the relation between "quality of evidence" and "imprecision.". Results: The GRADE framework contains terms familiar from classical statistics, but these terms are used in nonstandard ways. Notably, "imprecision" does not have the meaning in the GRADE framework that it has in statistics, and the well-known table of "evidence levels" wrongly suggests that "quality of evidence" and "accuracy" express the same concept-they do not. Conclusion: We believe that "conclusiveness" rather than "imprecision" would be a suitable term to use when the question whether the CI excludes or includes certain critical margins is being addressed. Conclusiveness could also replace quality of evidence as the final step for a systematic reviewer. © 2016 The Authors.

PubMed | Karolinska Institutet, SBU Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment, Malmö University, Gothenburg University and The Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Swedish dental journal | Year: 2013

This study comprises a survey of Swedish dentiststreatment preferences in cases of carious exposure of the dental pulp in adults.The survey was conducted as part of a comprehensive report on methods of diagnosis and treatment in endodontics, published in 2010 by the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. A questionnaire was mailed to a random subsample of 2012 dental offices where one dentist at each office was requested to answer all questions. Each questionnaire contained one of three sets of questions about endodontic practice routines.Thus around one-third of the subsample received case-specific questions about treating carious exposure. Only general practitioners aged below 70 years were included.The final study sample comprised 412 participants.The dentists were presented with two case scenarios. In Case 1 a 22-year old patient had a deep carious lesion in tooth 36 and in Case 2 a 50-year old patient had a deep carious lesion in tooth 14.The participants were asked to nominate their treatment of choice: pulp capping, partial pulpotomy or pulpectomy. For Case 1, 17 per cent of the respondents selected pulpectomy; the corresponding rate for Case 2 was 47 per cent. Female gender and age group 25-49 years were predictive of selection of less invasive treatment options. However, according to recent guidelines (2011) from the National Board of Health and Wellfare, Swedish dentists are recommended to elect pulpectomy prior to pulp capping/partial pulpotomy when confronted with a tooth having a cariously exposed pulp in adults.

PubMed | SBU Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International endodontic journal | Year: 2014

To demonstrate how the spectrum of diseased pulps may influence sensitivity and specificity in diagnostic studies on pulp status.An original sample from a previous study consisting of 59 teeth scheduled for root canal treatment was used where the relationship between the response to electric pulp testing and the visual status of the pulp was evaluated. To alter the spectrum of diseased pulps, a hypothetical sample of asymptomatic teeth with deep caries lesions was added to the original sample. Sensitivity and specificity were then compared for the two samples.In the original sample of 59 teeth, sensitivity was 72% and specificity 90%. When the spectrum of diseased pulps was altered, sensitivity decreased to 67% and specificity increased to 97%. The change in disease spectrum also decreased the prevalence of necrotic pulps.The spectrum of diseased pulps included in a diagnostic study on the accuracy of electric pulp testing, and indirectly also disease prevalence (here pulp necrosis), influences estimates of sensitivity and specificity. This implies that estimates of diagnostic accuracy from one study with a particular tooth population spectrum may not apply to another tooth population with a different disease spectrum.

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