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Table 2 Quality of methods in the studies included in review

From: Substitution of physicians by nurses in primary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Study details (country, design, funding) Inclusion & exclusion criteria Outcome Sequence generation Allocation concealment Blinding Sample size Attrition % Funding
1ry 2ry
ZA 2 A A NP ≥20# G
Fairall, 2012 [36] (Cohort 2)
ZA 1 A A NP ≥20# G
Fairall, 2012 [36] (Cohort 1)
NL 6 I A NP <20 G
Houweling, 2011 [30]
NL 5   A A NP <20 NR
Kuethe, 2011 [25]
RU 1    U I ≥20 None
Andryukhin, 2010 [46]
NL 4   A U I‡,§ <20 P/Ind.
Voogdt-Pruis, 2010 [16]
NL 3    A A NP NP ≥20 G
Dierick-Van Dale, 2009 [39]
UK 9    A A NP§ <20# NR
Chan, 2009 [42]
NL 2 U U NP ≥20 NR
Du Moulin, 2007 [37]
USA 6 *    U U NP NP <20 G
Hiss, 2007 [32]
NL 1 * U U NP§ ≥20 NR
Hesselink, 2004 [33]
UK 8 * I I NP <20# NR
Denver, 2003 [40]
UK 7 A A NP <20 P/Ind.
Jarman, 2002 [29]
UK 6 *† A U U ≥20# NR
Kernick, 2002 [27]
US 5 *    U U NP ≥20 G
Mundinger, 2000 [22, 24]
UK 5   A U U ≥20 Ind.
Kernick, 2000 [28]
UK 4 A A NP ║,¶ ≥20 G
Kinnersley, 2000 [26]
UK 3    A A NP NR║,¶ ≥20 P
Venning, 2000 [17]
UK 2    A A NP ≥20 G
Shum, 2000 [18]
US 4    I I NP NP U NR
Hemani, 1999 [34]
UK 1    A I NP§ ≥20# G
Campbell, 1998 [1921, 41, 4345]
US 3   U U A NR U NR
Winter, 1981 [15]
US 2 *    U U NP NR <20 NR
Flynn, 1974 [35]
US 1 *    U U NP§ NR U# G
Lewis, 1967 [23]
  1. Legend.
  2. Studies are listed by year (y) of publication, in decreasing order. Blinding: whether patients, care providers and outcome assessors were blinded. Attrition of more than 20% is of significant concern. Intention to treat (ITT) whether study authors analysed all patients based on their original group allocation regardless of protocol violations or non-compliance. US, United States; NL, The Netherlands; UK, United Kingdom; ZA, South Africa; RU, Russia; I, Inadequate; A: Adequate; U, Unclear; NP, Not Performed; NR, Not reported; Funding, Government (G), Industry (Ind.) or Private (P) grant.
  3. *Only the inclusion criteria was reported.
  4. Not all factors tested at baseline were comparable between groups.
  5. Fairall et al. (2012) [36] partly blinded data analysts; Andryukhin et al. (2010) [46] blinded clinicians not patients; Voogdt-Pruis et al. (2010) [16] blinded patients not clinicians; Winter (1981) [15] blinded patients and clinicians.
  6. §Outcome assessors blinded for some or all outcomes.
  7. Used a cluster effect approach (e.g. Huber-White).
  8. Reached the least target sample required to achieve power.
  9. #Used ITT strategies to deal with missing data.