Table 3

Quality assessment

Author, year n=number of mesothelioma patientsWas this a prospective study?Are the criteria for inclusion explicit?Is the study based on a representative sample?Were patient characteristics described?Did all individuals enter at a similar point in their disease progression?Was loss to follow-up <10%?Was follow-up long enough for important events to occur? (as specified by authors)*Were outcomes assessed using objective criteria or was blinding used?†If comparisons of subseries are being made, was there sufficient description of the series and the distribution of prognostic factors
Antrobus 2011 n=3NoYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNo subseries
Crul et al,25 2005 n=4NoYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNo subseries
Jackson et al,22 1999 n=53NoYesNo‡YesYesYesYesNoNo subseries
Kanpolat et al,23 2002 n=19YesYesYesYesYesNo§YesYes¶No subseries
Nicosia et al,21 1983** n=3UnclearYesYes††YesYesYesYesNoNo subseries
Price et al,17 2003 n=32YesYesYesYesYesNo‡‡YesYes§§No subseries
Raslan(b),24 2005 n=5YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes¶¶No subseries
Raslan(a),14 2008 n=24YesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNo subseries
Sharma 2011 n=17YesYesYesYesYesNo***YesNoNo subseries
  • *The follow-up should be at least 4 weeks for pain relief and at least 2 weeks for adverse effects: based on the consensus opinion of cordotomy practitioners across the UK (agreed at a cordotomy registry meeting at Liverpool on 8 March 2012).

  • †The reviewers defined blinding as using an independent person to do data collection, that is, the data collector is not aware that they are evaluating cordotomy outcomes per se. None of the included studies specified that this method of data collection was used.

  • ‡The authors could not obtain five sets of notes (out of 53 consecutive patients).

  • §Loss to follow-up of 19 patients (6/19, 31.57%) after 2 days post-PCC, with no clear reasons given as to why this happened.

  • ¶Used an objective measure to assess analgesic level (dermatomal).

  • **This study has been translated for data extraction, which may have resulted in the misinterpretation of some data.

  • ††It is likely that the sample is a consecutive series as they state that 20 adults came to their attention during the year 1982. We have recorded it as such with the proviso that this remains unclear.

  • ‡‡Loss to follow-up at 2 weeks of 17 (of 35) patients, four had died (4/35, 11.43%) and 13 (13/35, 37.14%) chose not to attend due to distance to travel.

  • §§Used objective measures to assess analgesic level (dermatomal)and respiratory function.

  • ¶¶Used an objective measure to assess analgesic level (dermatomal).

  • ***Maximum loss to follow-up of five (of 17) patients at 28 days, three had died (3/17, 17.65%) and two were uncontactable (2/17, 11.76%).

  • PCC, percutaneous cervical cordotomy.