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Title: The perfidious effect of topical placebo: calibration of staphylococcus aureus ventilator-associated pneumonia incidence within selective digestive decontamination studies versus the broader evidence base.
Authors: Hurley, James C.
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Place of publication: Washington, DC
Publication Title: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Volume: 57
Issue: 9
Start Page: 4524
End Page: 4531
Abstract: Among various methods for preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), the evidence base for selective digestive decontamination (SDD) appears most compelling. However, the extent of Staphylococcus aureus emergence with SDD use remains uncertain. Groups from 37 observational studies and component (control and intervention) groups from 58 studies of SDD and other methods of VAP prevention were sourced exclusively from 10 systematic reviews. S. aureus as a proportion of VAP isolates (S. aureus isolate proportion [S. aureus IP]) among component groups was calibrated versus that among observational groups (the benchmark). The influence of topical placebo used for blinding purposes and other group-level factors was estimated using generalized estimating equation methods (GEE). The mean S. aureus IP is 22% (95% confidence interval [CI], 19 to 25) for 37 observational groups versus 32% (24 to 41) and 20% (15 to 25) for 22 control groups from the SDD evidence base which did versus did not receive topical placebo, respectively. In GEE models including all 148 observational and component groups, membership of a control (P = 0.03) or intervention (P < 0.001) group of an SDD study that used topical placebo was associated with higher S. aureus IP, whereas, in contrast, membership of these groups was without effect on Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Topical placebo is implicated as a vehicle for selective cross-infection with S. aureus within the specific context of the SDD evidence base. This effect of topical placebo is perfidious; it could contribute to the higher VAP incidence and inflate the apparent “effectiveness” of SDD. The SDD evidence base requires reappraisal.
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ISSN: 0066-4804
Internal ID Number: 00726
Health Subject: CALIBRATION
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Research Output

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