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Am J Gastroenterol. 1996 Apr;91(4):660-73.

Drug treatment of functional dyspepsia: a systematic analysis of trial methodology with recommendations for design of future trials.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.



To evaluate drug treatment of functional dyspepsia (including Helicobacter pylori) and provide guidelines for future trials based on a critical systematic overview of published studies.


Data sources were a Medline search for articles published in English going back to 1966 and a manual search of four GI journals going back to 1980. Original randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials were selected that enrolled at least 20 patients. Using a standardized, pretested data extraction form, studies were evaluated independently by two observers for study design, outcome measures, and results.


Fifty two eligible studies were evaluated. Many studies suffered from important weaknesses in study design and execution. Only five studies used previously validated outcome measures.


Because of suboptimal design and/or unclear presentation of the data, none of the trials provided unequivocal evidence that there is efficacious therapy for the treatment of functional dyspepsia.

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