Patients with fibrotic interstitial lung diseases (e.g. idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) have a poor overall prognosis, and there are no therapies proven to halt disease progression or extend life. Further, many of these patients have debilitating symptoms, limited functional capacity, and poor quality of life. So absent effective disease modifying treatments, wouldn’t it be nice to at least help these patients feel and function better? Such interventions are the focus of a recent systematic review and meta-analysis performed by Sabrina Bajwah et al, reported in Thorax.
What They Did
The authors performed a thorough literature search for interventions in fibrotic interstitial lung diseases that report outcomes for symptoms, functional capacity (measured by 6-minute walk distance), and quality of life. They included randomized controlled trials (RCT), non-randomized trials, and observational studies. They also performed meta-analyses for interventions that had more than one RCT. The strength of evidence was ranked as “strong” (supported by meta-analysis of more than one RCT), “moderate” (supported by one RCT), and “weak” (supported by non-RCT studies).
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