Use of steroid and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: Systematic review protocol

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Abstract

Background

Rheumatoid arthritis affects 1% of the world's population and its current treatment options are costly. There are not enough studies that evaluated the efficacy and safety of anti-inflammatory drugs medications used to reduce rheumatoid arthritis's symptoms. This study will evaluate the effectiveness and the safety of steroid and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Methods

Randomized clinical trials eligible for our systematic review will enroll adults with rheumatoid arthritis treated with anti-inflammatory drugs compared with a control group (placebo or active control) at any dose, duration, and route of administration and double blind studies. In order to include all forms of rheumatoid arthritis and anti-inflammatory drugs, we will search the following electronic databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE (via Ovid); ExcerptaMedica Database (via Ovid); Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (via Ovid); Web of Science; ClinicalTrial.gov; and WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. We will not impose any language restrictions or publication status. Outcomes of interest include are pain, physical function, swelling, stiffness, grip force, radiological image of the joint, quality of life, adverse events, discontinuation due to adverse events, satisfaction with the treatment, and rescue medication for pain. A team of reviewers will independently screen search results, extract data from eligible trials, and assess risk of bias. We will use the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach to rate overall certainty of the evidence by outcome. Dichotomous data will be summarized as risk ratios; continuous data will be given as standard average differences with 95% confidence intervals.

Results

The evidence derived by this study will increase awareness of the effectiveness and safety of steroid and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Conclusion

The results could guide patients and healthcare practitioners and help facilitate evidence-based shared care decision making.

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