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Pharmacological interventions for pruritus in adult palliative care patients

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2016
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (93rd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (76th percentile)

Mentioned by

blogs
1 blog
twitter
35 tweeters
facebook
2 Facebook pages

Citations

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25 Dimensions

Readers on

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263 Mendeley
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Title
Pharmacological interventions for pruritus in adult palliative care patients
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd008320.pub3
Pubmed ID
Authors

Waldemar Siemens, Carola Xander, Joerg J Meerpohl, Sabine Buroh, Gerd Antes, Guido Schwarzer, Gerhild Becker

Abstract

This is an update of the original Cochrane review published in 2013 (Issue 6). Pruritus occurs in patients with disparate underlying diseases and is caused by different pathologic mechanisms. In palliative care patients, pruritus is not the most prevalent but is one of the most puzzling symptoms. It can cause considerable discomfort and affects patients' quality of life. To assess the effects of different pharmacological treatments for preventing or treating pruritus in adult palliative care patients. For this update, we searched CENTRAL (the Cochrane Library), and MEDLINE (OVID) up to 9 June 2016 and Embase (OVID) up to 7 June 2016. In addition, we searched trial registries and checked the reference lists of all relevant studies, key textbooks, reviews and websites, and we contacted investigators and specialists in pruritus and palliative care regarding unpublished data. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effects of different pharmacological treatments, compared with a placebo, no treatment, or an alternative treatment, for preventing or treating pruritus in palliative care patients. Two review authors independently assessed the identified titles and abstracts, performed data extraction and assessed the risk of bias and methodological quality. We summarised the results descriptively and quantitatively (meta-analyses) according to the different pharmacological interventions and the diseases associated with pruritus. We assessed the evidence using GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) and created 10 'Summary of findings' tables. In total, we included 50 studies and 1916 participants in the review. We added 10 studies with 627 participants for this update. Altogether, we included 39 different treatments for pruritus in four different patient groups.The overall risk of bias profile was heterogeneous and ranged from high to low risk. However, 48 studies (96%) had a high risk of bias due to low sample size (i.e. fewer than 50 participants per treatment arm). Using GRADE criteria, we downgraded our judgement on the quality of evidence to moderate in seven and to low in three comparisons for our primary outcome (pruritus), mainly due to imprecision and risk of bias.In palliative care participants with pruritus of different nature, the treatment with the drug paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, reduced pruritus by 0.78 points (numerical analogue scale from 0 to 10; 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.19 to -0.37; one RCT, N = 48, quality of evidence: moderate) compared to placebo.For participants suffering from uraemic pruritus (UP), gabapentin was more effective than placebo (visual analogue scale (VAS): 0 to 10), mean difference (MD) -5.91, 95% CI -6.87 to -4.96; two RCTs, N = 118, quality of evidence: moderate). The κ-opioid receptor agonist nalfurafine showed amelioration of UP (VAS 0 to 10, MD -0.95, 95% CI -1.32 to -0.58; three RCTs, N = 422, quality of evidence: moderate) and only few adverse events. Moreover, cromolyn sodium relieved UP participants from pruritus by 2.94 points on the VAS (0 to 10) (95% CI -4.04 to -1.83; two RCTs, N = 100, quality of evidence: moderate) compared to placebo.In participants with cholestatic pruritus (CP), data favoured rifampin (VAS: 0 to 100, MD -24.64, 95% CI -31.08 to -18.21; two RCTs, N = 42, quality of evidence: low) and flumecinol (RR > 1 favours treatment group; RR 1.89, 95% CI 1.05 to 3.39; two RCTs, N = 69, quality of evidence: low) and showed a low incidence of adverse events in comparison with placebo. The opioid antagonist naltrexone reduced pruritus for participants with CP (VAS: 0 to 10, MD -2.26, 95% CI -3.19 to -1.33; two RCTs, N = 52, quality of evidence: moderate) compared to placebo. However, effects in participants with UP were inconclusive (percentage difference -12.30%, 95% CI -25.82% to 1.22%, one RCT, N = 32). Furthermore, large doses of opioid antagonists (e.g. naltrexone) could be inappropriate in palliative care patients because of the risk of reducing analgesia.For participants with HIV-associated pruritus, it is uncertain whether drug treatment with hydroxyzine hydrochloride, pentoxifylline, triamcinolone or indomethacin reduces pruritus because the evidence was of very low quality (e.g. small sample size, lack of blinding). Different interventions tended to be effective for CP and UP. However, therapies for patients with malignancies are still lacking. Due to the small sample sizes in most meta-analyses and the heterogeneous methodological quality of the included trials, the results should be interpreted cautiously in terms of generalisability.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 35 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 263 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Qatar 1 <1%
Unknown 262 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 56 21%
Researcher 36 14%
Student > Bachelor 27 10%
Student > Ph. D. Student 23 9%
Student > Postgraduate 20 8%
Other 53 20%
Unknown 48 18%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 102 39%
Nursing and Health Professions 37 14%
Psychology 12 5%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 10 4%
Social Sciences 9 3%
Other 37 14%
Unknown 56 21%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 29. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 28 October 2019.
All research outputs
#663,653
of 14,723,957 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#1,939
of 11,036 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#24,892
of 375,093 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#37
of 157 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 14,723,957 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 95th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,036 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 22.5. This one has done well, scoring higher than 82% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 375,093 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 157 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 76% of its contemporaries.