Objectives: To systematically assess the evidence for effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of conditions of significance in the West Midlands region and to determine whether there is a case for establishing a hyperbaric oxygen unit in the region. Methods: Systematic review of the literature assessing randomized controlled trials from 1968 onward. Results: A total of 154 full-text articles was obtained of which 13 relevant randomized control trials were identified. There was little consistency in the studies. Treatment protocols, study groups, time to treatment, and other characteristics and outcomes measured all varied considerably. No convincing evidence of effectiveness was identified. Conclusions: Although hyperbaric oxygen therapy is clearly appropriate in the treatment of decompression sickness and air/gas embolism, there is no convincing evidence of effectiveness for the conditions reviewed, despite its widespread use. Although this review has found no evidence to support the establishment of a unit in the West Midlands, there is a physiological case for an effect in conditions involving hypoxia and, given the limited volume (and in some cases quality) of published research, a case for a national research program.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2003|