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Type: Journal article
Title: Systematic review processes and the management of opioid withdrawal
Author: Gowing, L.
Ali, R.
White, J.
Citation: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2000; 24(4):427-431
Publisher: Public Health Assoc Australia Inc
Issue Date: 2000
ISSN: 1326-0200
Abstract: OBJECTIVE:To assess the diversity of research on the management of opioid withdrawal, identify sources of heterogeneity and provide a context for subsequent systematic reviews to establish evidence-based best practice. METHODS:References were identified through searches of multiple electronic databases and handsearching the reference lists of retrieved articles. The principal criterion for inclusion in the literature mapping process was that it be a study of an intervention intended to manage the process of opioid withdrawal. RESULTS:Of 218 references assessed, all participants were dependent on heroin in 41% and on methadone or l-alpha acetyl methadol (LAAM) in 24%. More than 17 different types of treatment approach were identified. Only 42% of references used a rating instrument to assess withdrawal severity and reported sufficient results to indicate the timing and magnitude of the peak and/or duration of withdrawal. The type of rating instrument used and the way in which results were reported varied enormously. A clear parameter for completion of detoxification was used for 37% of references. CONCLUSIONS:The capacity for rigorous systematic reviews of the management of opioid withdrawal is currently limited. There are multiple sources of heterogeneity that will need to be taken into account. IMPLICATIONS:The use of narrative reviews and observational studies are important complements to formal systematic reviews in the establishment of evidence-based practice in any area that combines aspects of psychology, behaviour, social context and medical treatment.
Keywords: Humans; Opioid-Related Disorders; Treatment Outcome; Evidence-Based Medicine; Research Design; Meta-Analysis as Topic; Inactivation, Metabolic
RMID: 0001000570
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-842X.2000.tb01606.x
Appears in Collections:Pharmacology publications

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