That are designed to guide their decisions step by step, based

That are designed to guide their decisions step by step, based on the presence/absence of clinical symptoms and signs, and more recently including malaria RDTs. As far as the management of fever is concerned, local guidelines should follow what is now indicated by WHO for all malaria endemic countries: do the test (generally a RDT), treat for malaria if positive, refrain if negative [1]. Artemisinin combination treatments (ACT), that are highly effective, and also much more costly than previous regimens, are indicated as the drugs of choicein African countries where P. falciparum malaria prevails, including Burkina Faso. The test is indicated as mandatory in order to avoid drug overuse. A test is useful if the result is susceptible to change the decision that the clinical 23977191 officer would make without test. This has not always been the case in previous studies on malaria RDT, showing that the negative RDT result did not prevent local health professionals from treating for malaria [2,3]. Rather than passively adhere to suggested guidelines, health workers should be trained to deal with uncertainty on the basis of the best available evidence. This necessarily implies a clinical reasoning based on the threshold, a well known concept but which unfortunately has not yet duly influenced clinical practice [4,5].Managing Uncertainty in Medicine: The Threshold ConceptThe threshold notion is not new to clinical decision making. It was first [DTrp6]-LH-RH introduced by Pauker and Kassirer with a memorableMalaria Decision Thresholdpaper in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1975 [6]. Since then, the threshold has become a pivotal concept of evidence based medicine (EBM), and applications to many different fields of health care have been published[7?6]. Modern clinical decisionmaking could not prescind from the threshold analysis, whenever decisions need to be taken in absence of 100 certainty. In tropical medicine diagnostic facilities are usually limited. Nevertheless, the threshold concept is, unfortunately, MedChemExpress 4 IBP largely foreign to this field.much more dangerous than the undesired effects of the treatment; therefore the decision threshold for severe diseases is usually low [37]. Nevertheless, the treatment cost is a limiting factor. For this reason, the decision threshold for most diseases is higher in low income countries [4]. If a treatment is very expensive, it is not justified to treat many “false positives” with a high cost for the patient and/or for the community, depending on the payment system. An obvious example is the treatment of AIDS with protease inhibitors.The Decision ThresholdThe probability for a patient to suffer from a given disease varies from 0 to 100 . The minimal probability required to decide whatever medical action (when all the available diagnostic arguments have been exhausted) is generally referred to as the treatment threshold [6]. A broader definition of “decision threshold” (Figure 1) is probably better, to comprise some decisions that do not concern treatment, such as: to communicate the diagnosis of an untreatable disease, or to refer to a higher level of care. If the decision concerns treating or not, which is usually the case, the threshold can be defined as a tradeoff between the consequences of refraining from the treatment when the disease is there and those of unnecessarily treating a patient who has not the disease (Figure 2).When a “Last Test” is Available. Test Threshold and Test/ Treatment ThresholdSo far, a uniq.That are designed to guide their decisions step by step, based on the presence/absence of clinical symptoms and signs, and more recently including malaria RDTs. As far as the management of fever is concerned, local guidelines should follow what is now indicated by WHO for all malaria endemic countries: do the test (generally a RDT), treat for malaria if positive, refrain if negative [1]. Artemisinin combination treatments (ACT), that are highly effective, and also much more costly than previous regimens, are indicated as the drugs of choicein African countries where P. falciparum malaria prevails, including Burkina Faso. The test is indicated as mandatory in order to avoid drug overuse. A test is useful if the result is susceptible to change the decision that the clinical 23977191 officer would make without test. This has not always been the case in previous studies on malaria RDT, showing that the negative RDT result did not prevent local health professionals from treating for malaria [2,3]. Rather than passively adhere to suggested guidelines, health workers should be trained to deal with uncertainty on the basis of the best available evidence. This necessarily implies a clinical reasoning based on the threshold, a well known concept but which unfortunately has not yet duly influenced clinical practice [4,5].Managing Uncertainty in Medicine: The Threshold ConceptThe threshold notion is not new to clinical decision making. It was first introduced by Pauker and Kassirer with a memorableMalaria Decision Thresholdpaper in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1975 [6]. Since then, the threshold has become a pivotal concept of evidence based medicine (EBM), and applications to many different fields of health care have been published[7?6]. Modern clinical decisionmaking could not prescind from the threshold analysis, whenever decisions need to be taken in absence of 100 certainty. In tropical medicine diagnostic facilities are usually limited. Nevertheless, the threshold concept is, unfortunately, largely foreign to this field.much more dangerous than the undesired effects of the treatment; therefore the decision threshold for severe diseases is usually low [37]. Nevertheless, the treatment cost is a limiting factor. For this reason, the decision threshold for most diseases is higher in low income countries [4]. If a treatment is very expensive, it is not justified to treat many “false positives” with a high cost for the patient and/or for the community, depending on the payment system. An obvious example is the treatment of AIDS with protease inhibitors.The Decision ThresholdThe probability for a patient to suffer from a given disease varies from 0 to 100 . The minimal probability required to decide whatever medical action (when all the available diagnostic arguments have been exhausted) is generally referred to as the treatment threshold [6]. A broader definition of “decision threshold” (Figure 1) is probably better, to comprise some decisions that do not concern treatment, such as: to communicate the diagnosis of an untreatable disease, or to refer to a higher level of care. If the decision concerns treating or not, which is usually the case, the threshold can be defined as a tradeoff between the consequences of refraining from the treatment when the disease is there and those of unnecessarily treating a patient who has not the disease (Figure 2).When a “Last Test” is Available. Test Threshold and Test/ Treatment ThresholdSo far, a uniq.

Leave a Reply