Kedge, E.M. (2009). A systematic review to investigate the effectiveness and acceptability of interventions for moist desquamation in radiotherapy patients. Radiography, 15, 247–257.doi: 10.1016/j.radi.2008.08.002
To systematically review the currently available high-quality evidence evaluating treatments for moist desquamation in patients receiving radiotherapy
The search returned 166 articles. Of these, 20 were relevant. Only 10 were included in the review. Studies were evaluated for quality using the CASP guidelines for clinical trials. Of the 10 studies that met inclusion criteria, none were judged to be of very poor quality, so all were included in the review. Studies were not homogenous in interventions or variables examined, so no meta-analysis was undertaken. A qualitative overview of results is presented.
No convincing evidence for any intervention was found. Evidence was mixed concerning the use of hydrogel and hydrocolloid dressings; however, improved patient comfort was sometimes seen with these. Other dressings studied did not show positive results and comparison dry dressings may cause injury of granulating tissue with daily removal for treatment. A number of other types of dressings that might be useful were briefly identified, but there are no reports of research using these yet. Limited evidence supports other interventions. Most findings with topical agents were equivocal. In one study, hydrocortisone cream appeared to reduce healing time (abstract only).
Although the author states that the 10 studies included were all of sufficient quality for use according to the guidelines used, results reported per study indicate that one study may have reported information that was untrue, one study was identified as being poorly reported with insufficient information, and one study was identified as fairly low quality.
Well-designed research in this area is urgently needed.