The clinical and cost effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)

Ritchie K, Baxter S, Craig J, Macpherson K, Mandava L, McIntosh H, Wilson S
Record ID 32008100048
Authors' objectives: A review of the range of conditions for which hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) should be used was commissioned following discussion among the UK Public Health Specialist Commissioner Group regarding National Health Service (NHS) provision of the intervention.
Authors' recommendations: Randomised controlled trial (RCT) evidence is generally considered to be the gold standard for assessing the efficacy of healthcare interventions. RCT evidence was not available for a substantial number the HBOT treatment indications. However RCTs may be considered inappropriate for some conditions, such as decompression illness where the theoretical rationale for therapy is accepted. For those conditions where RCTs had been conducted, the quality or reporting of many trials was considered too poor to provide robustconclusions. As a result, therapeutic efficacy was suggested for a number of HBOT indications but rigorous testing is required to confirm the findings. For the majority of conditions considered within this report it is concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support the routine use of HBOT. For some conditions observational studies have suggested that HBOT may be of some benefit, but conclusive evidence in the form of RCTs is required. A large number of such trials are currently underway and this should provide a better evidence base.The cost-effectiveness evidence base was limited, with economic evaluations having been carried out for only a few conditions. This review found that most of the cost–effectiveness evidence on HBOT relates to the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2008
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Scotland
MeSH Terms
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation
  • Diabetic Foot
  • Wound Healing
Organisation Name: Quality Improvement Scotland
Contact Address: Delta House, 50 West Nile Street Glasgow G1 2NP Scotland United Kingdom Tel: +44 141 225 6988; Fax: +44 141 221 3262
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Copyright: Health Quality Improvement Scotland (NHS QIS)
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