Helen Nankervis - lead the creation of the GREAT database as part of her work on an NIHR funded Programme Grant (RP-PG-0407-10177).
John Ingram – current co-investigator of an eczema trial funded by Atopix Therapeutics Ltd. He has not received any reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from involvement in the trial.
Kim Thomas – co-applicant for the NIHR funded Programme Grant (RP-PG-0407-10177) that supported this work.
Hywel Williams – co-applicant for the NIHR funded Programme Grant (RP-PG-0407-10177) that supported this work.
Alison Devine - No competing interests.
Elizabeth Doney – No competing interests.
Sherie Smith – No competing interests.
Finola Delamere – No competing interests.
HN contributed to the design of the study, extracted data, coordinated data extraction, comparison and arbitration, drafted the first draft of the manuscript and revised the manuscript according to co-author comments. AD extracted data and commented on the final manuscript. HCW contributed to the design of the study and commented on the manuscript, JRI compared data extraction data and arbitrated where the data did not agree, ED contributed to the design of the study, extracted data and commented on the manuscript, FD contributed to the design of the study and commented on the manuscript, SS contributed to the design of the study and commented on the manuscript, KST contributed to the design of the study and commented on the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Eczema (syn. Atopic Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis) is a chronic, relapsing, itchy skin condition which probably results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The Global Resource of EczemA Trials (GREAT) is a collection of records of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for eczema treatment produced from a highly sensitive search of six reference databases. We sought to assess the sensitivity of the GREAT database as a tool to save future researchers repeating extensive bibliographic searches.
All Cochrane systematic review on treatments for eczema and five non-Cochrane systematic reviews on eczema were identified as a reference set to assess the utility of the GREAT database in identifying randomised controlled trials (RCTs). RCTs included in the systematic reviews were checked for inclusion in the GREAT database by two independent authors. A third author resolved any disagreements.
Five Cochrane and six non-Cochrane systematic reviews containing a total of 105 RCTs of eczema treatments were included. Of these, 95 fitted the inclusion criteria for the GREAT database and 88 were published from 2000 onwards. Of the 88 eligible studies, 92% were found in the GREAT database. Seven trials were not included in the GREAT database - two of these were reported within a review paper and one as an abstract with no trial results.
The sensitivity of the GREAT database for trials from 2000 onwards was high (75/88 trials, 94%). Sensitivity for the period prior to 2000 was less sensitive, due to differences in how the trials were identified prior to this time.
‘Dual’ filtering for new records has recently become part of the GREAT database methodology and should further improve the sensitivity of the database in time. The GREAT database can be considered as a primary source for future systematic reviews including randomised controlled trials of eczema treatments, but searches should be supplemented by checking reference lists for eligible trials, searching trial registries and contacting pharmaceutical companies for unpublished studies.
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- Validation of the global resource of eczema trials (GREAT database)
Hywel C Williams
John R Ingram
Kim S Thomas
- BioMed Central
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