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      Patient registries for home oxygen research and evaluation

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          Randomized clinical trials are the preferred study design to address key research questions about the benefits or harms of interventions. However, randomized trials of oxygen therapy are difficult to conduct and have limitations. The purpose of this article is to offer our view on the potential use of patient registries in the field of home oxygen in COPD as an alternative to randomized trials by referring to the Swedish experience with a national registry for respiratory failure. Patient registries use observational study methods to collect uniform data (clinical and other) to evaluate specified outcomes for a population defined by a particular disease, condition, or exposure. As opposed to administrative databases, patient registries serve one or more predetermined scientific, clinical, or policy purposes. By systematically and prospectively compiling relevant data, patient registries may describe the natural history of a disease, determine effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, assess safety or harm, and measure quality of care. Registry-based randomized trials (ie, randomized trials within a clinical registry) combine the advantages of a prospective randomized trial with the strengths of a large-scale all-comers clinical registry. Challenges and issues in the design and implementation of patient registries include the representativeness of participants, data collection, quality assurance, ownership, and governance. Notwithstanding their limitations, patient registries represent valuable tools in the conduct of research in the area of home oxygen therapy.

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          Randomized, controlled trials, observational studies, and the hierarchy of research designs.

          In the hierarchy of research designs, the results of randomized, controlled trials are considered to be evidence of the highest grade, whereas observational studies are viewed as having less validity because they reportedly overestimate treatment effects. We used published meta-analyses to identify randomized clinical trials and observational studies that examined the same clinical topics. We then compared the results of the original reports according to the type of research design. A search of the Medline data base for articles published in five major medical journals from 1991 to 1995 identified meta-analyses of randomized, controlled trials and meta-analyses of either cohort or case-control studies that assessed the same intervention. For each of five topics, summary estimates and 95 percent confidence intervals were calculated on the basis of data from the individual randomized, controlled trials and the individual observational studies. For the five clinical topics and 99 reports evaluated, the average results of the observational studies were remarkably similar to those of the randomized, controlled trials. For example, analysis of 13 randomized, controlled trials of the effectiveness of bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine in preventing active tuberculosis yielded a relative risk of 0.49 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.34 to 0.70) among vaccinated patients, as compared with an odds ratio of 0.50 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.39 to 0.65) from 10 case-control studies. In addition, the range of the point estimates for the effect of vaccination was wider for the randomized, controlled trials (0.20 to 1.56) than for the observational studies (0.17 to 0.84). The results of well-designed observational studies (with either a cohort or a case-control design) do not systematically overestimate the magnitude of the effects of treatment as compared with those in randomized, controlled trials on the same topic.
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            At six centers, 203 patients with hypoxemic chronic obstructive lung disease were randomly allocated to either continuous oxygen (O2) therapy or 12-hour nocturnal O2 therapy and followed for at least 12 months (mean, 19.3 months). The two groups were initially well matched in terms of physiological and neuropsychological function. Compliance with each oxygen regimen was good. Overall mortality in the nocturnal O2 therapy group was 1.94 times that in the continuous O2 therapy group (P = 0.01). This trend was striking in patients with carbon dioxide retention and also present in patients with relatively poor lung function, low mean nocturnal oxygen saturation, more severe brain dysfunction, and prominent mood disturbances. Continuous O2 therapy also appeared to benefit patients with low mean pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance and those with relatively well-preserved exercise capacity. We conclude that in hypoxemic chronic obstructive lung disease, continuous O2 therapy is associated with a lower mortality than is nocturnal O2 therapy. The reason for this difference is not clear.
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              The randomized registry trial--the next disruptive technology in clinical research?


                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                18 June 2019
                : 14
                : 1299-1304
                [1 ] Research Center, Quebec University Institute of Cardiology and Pulmonology, Laval University , Québec, QC, Canada
                [2 ] Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago , Chicago, IL, USA
                [3 ] Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Lund University , Lund, Sweden
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Yves LacasseCentre de Pneumologie, Institut Universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec , 2725 Chemin Ste-Foy, QuebecG1V 4G5, CanadaTel +1 418 656 4747Fax +1 418 656 4762Email Yves.Lacasse@
                © 2019 Lacasse et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Tables: 1, References: 37, Pages: 6

                Respiratory medicine

                evaluation, copd, home oxygen, patient registry


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