Clinicians' attitude towards a placebo-controlled randomised clinical trial investigating the effect of neuraminidase inhibitors in adults hospitalised with influenza
Bradbury, Naomi; Nguyen-Van-Tam, Jonathan S.; Lim, Wei Shen
JONATHAN NGUYEN-VAN-TAM Jonathan.Nguyen-Vanfirstname.lastname@example.org
Wei Shen Lim
Background: The value of neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) in reducing severe clinical outcomes from influenza is debated. A clinical trial to generate better evidence is desirable. However, it is unknown whether UK clinicians would support a placebo controlled trial. A survey was conducted to determine the attitude of clinicians towards a clinical trial and their current practice in managing adults admitted to hospital with suspected influenza.
Methods: Senior clinicians (n=50) across the UK actively involved in the care of patients hospitalised with severe respiratory infections and/or respiratory infection research were invited to participate in an on-line survey. Participants were asked their opinion on the evidence for benefit of NAIs in influenza, their current practice in relation to: a) testing for influenza; b) treating empirically with NAIs; and c) when influenza infection is virolologically confirmed, prescribing NAIs.
Results: Thirty-five (70%) of 50 clinicians completed the survey. Respondents were drawn mainly from infectious diseases, intensive care and respiratory medicine. Only 11 (31%) of 35 respondents agreed that NAIs are effective at reducing influenza mortality;14(40%)disagreed, 10 (28.6%) neither agreed nor disagreed. When managing adults admitted to non-ICU wards with a respiratory infection during an influenza season, 15 (51.7%) clinicians indicated they would usually perform a test for influenza in greater than 60% of patients but only 9 (31%) would treat empirically with NAIs in greater than 60% of patients. Few clinicians would either test or empirically treat patients presenting with other (non-respiratory infection related) diagnoses. If influenza infection is confirmed, 17 (64.5%) clinicians would prescribe NAIs in greater than 80% of patients with a respiratory infection treated on non-ICU wards Thirty-one (89%) clinicians agreed that a placebo-controlled clinical trial should be conducted and 29 (85%) would participate in such a trial.
Conclusions: There is strong support from UK clinicians for a placebo-controlled trial of NAI treatment in adults hospitalised with suspected influenza. Current variation in medical opinion and clinical practice demonstrates collective equipoise, supporting ethical justification for a trial. Low use of NAIs in the UK suggests randomisation of treatment would not substantially divert patients towards placebo.
Bradbury, N., Nguyen-Van-Tam, J. S., & Lim, W. S. (2018). Clinicians' attitude towards a placebo-controlled randomised clinical trial investigating the effect of neuraminidase inhibitors in adults hospitalised with influenza. BMC Health Services Research, 18, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-3122-x
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Apr 15, 2018|
|Online Publication Date||May 2, 2018|
|Publication Date||May 2, 2018|
|Deposit Date||Apr 17, 2018|
|Publicly Available Date||May 2, 2018|
|Journal||BMC Health Services Research|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||Influenza; Pandemic. Neuraminidase inhibitors; Oseltamivir; Zanamivir; Ethics; Survey; Clinical practice; Equipoise|
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
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