Reliability of point-of-collection testing devices for drugs of abuse in oral fluid: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Point-of-collection testing (POCT) devices for drugs of abuse are used to screen for the presence of psychoactive substances (PAS) in different types of settings and environments. However, these quick and advantageous tools also present disadvantages, including low-reliability measures in comparison to chromatographic assays. Therefore, this article presents a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies evaluating the reliability of measurements of PAS detection in oral fluid using POCT devices. The reliability measures for detection of the five most important drug classes – cocaine, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids and opioids, are reported. The article also presents a subgroup analysis considering the reliability estimates for the different POCT devices that were evaluated by the studies contemplated in the review. A discussion considering the strengths and limitations of POCT techniques was performed in order to guide policymakers, traffic agents and other professionals who also conduct such tests. The use of POCT devices often involves legal and moral aspects of the subjects tested, which demands critical evaluation of these devices before they are implemented in different settings.

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