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Neurosurgery. 2003 Jul;53(1):110-20; discussion 120-2.

Quality of reporting in evaluations of surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia: recommendations for future reports.

Author information

1
Barts and the London Hospital Oral Medicine, Dental Institute, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, England. J.M.Zakrzewska@qmul.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

There are numerous reports on the surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, but the studies do not use uniform outcome measures, which makes it difficult for patients and clinicians to determine which treatment may be most appropriate. The objectives of this study were to set quality criteria and standards for outcome reporting for the surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (on the basis of international expert opinion), to identify and assess all studies of the surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia and evaluate the studies against those criteria, and to provide recommendations for submitting reports on the outcomes of surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.

METHODS:

The types of data that 11 neurosurgeons and 2 neurologists considered essential for articles reporting the outcomes of surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia were the quality criteria used by the two authors. Standards were established in terms of the minimal number and type of criteria that studies should meet to allow their use in a potential systematic review of pain outcomes of surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Studies were identified in MEDLINE searches and from other sources and were independently scored against those criteria by the two authors. The reproducibility of the method was checked with assessments of inter- and intra-rater reliability. A checklist for the reporting of studies was formulated.

RESULTS:

A total of 281 studies were identified, of which 222 were scored. Seventy-one (32%) of the studies reached the minimal set standards, but only 28 (13%) could be used for assessment of pain outcomes, because they included actuarial analyses. There was good agreement between the two authors in the scoring of the studies, although some criteria required stricter definitions. A checklist for the reporting of future studies on the surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia was proposed.

CONCLUSION:

When assessed against the proposed criteria and standards, the quality of reporting was generally poor. The methods for reporting surgical outcomes for trigeminal neuralgia were not uniform; therefore, the comparability of results and techniques was low. Data should be collected and reported in a standardized way. A protocol for data collection and reporting on the surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia has been proposed. Further research is needed to evaluate this tool.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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