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Evid Based Nurs 8:4-6 doi:10.1136/ebn.8.1.4
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Of studies, summaries, synopses, and systems: the “4S” evolution of services for finding current best evidence

A prototype for evidence synopsis for hand-held computers* Based on: Review: antibiotics do not lead to general improvement in upper respiratory tract infections. Evidence-Based Nursing 1999;2:78. Abstract of: Arroll B, Kenealy T. Antibiotics versus placebo in the common cold. Cochrane review, 8 Apr 1998. In: Cochrane Library. Oxford: Update Software.

Question Study groups Outcomes at 1–7 days (5 trials) Weighted EER Weighted CER RBR (95% CI) NNH
Conclusion: in patients with acute upper respiratory infection, antibiotics are no more beneficial in terms of general improvement than placebo and are associated with a non-significant increase in adverse effects.
*EER  =  experimental event rate, CER  =  control event rate, RBR  =  relative benefit reduction, RRI  =  relative risk increase, NS  =  not statistically significant.; RBR, RRI, NNH, and CI calculated from data in article.
In patients with acute respiratory tract infections, what is the efficacy and safety of antibiotics (compared with placebo) in curing infection and improving nasopharyngeal symptoms? Experimental: antibiotics (tetracycline, penicillin, ampicillin, amoxicillin, erythromycin, and cotrimoxizole) Control: placebo General improvement 51.2% 52.5% 2% (−5 to 10) NS
RRI (CI)
Adverse effects 9.7% 3.6% 82% (−25 to 340) NS

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