Table A-2Example summary table characterizing the applicability of a body of studies

DomainDescription of applicability of evidence
PopulationAvailable trials included few patients with PSA detected by screening (T1c), whose prognosis may be different. The age of enrolled patients was representative of prostate cancer patients in the community, but subgroup results from one study suggest that benefits of treatment may be smaller in patients over age 65 than those under age 65.
InterventionThe prostatectomy treatment in the Scandinavian study2 is applicable to current surgical methods although it is not clear if nerve-sparing surgery was common. The smaller trial3 was conducted over 20 years ago and may not be applicable.
ComparatorsWatchful waiting is an appropriate comparator in both studies but only the more recent study used hormonal therapy for patients whose disease progresses.
OutcomesAvailable trials use a reasonable array of health outcomes. Additional follow-up from one study suggests that outcomes at 10 years are representative of longer-term outcomes. For older patients, prostate cancer mortality may represent a small portion of overall mortality and thus be less relevant than overall mortality.
SettingOne study was conducted across a broad cross section of Scandinavian centers, whereas the other was conducted in a highly selected population from one Danish Veterans Administration center in the 1960s–1970s. It is not clear in what direction this may affect the results. They may be a healthier population from having regular access to medical care, but may be more likely to have other comorbidities such as heart disease than a highly selected population.

From: Assessing the Applicability of Studies When Comparing Medical Interventions

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