Publications by authors named "Karla Salas-Gama"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Efficacy of systemic oncological treatments in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer at high risk of dying in the short or medium-term: overview of systematic reviews.

Eur J Cancer 2021 09 9;154:82-91. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau), Barcelona, Spain; CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer (PC) have a high risk of dying in the short or medium-term. This overview aimed to assess the evidence regarding systemic oncological treatments (SOT) versus supportive care for advanced PC.

Methods: We searched for systematic reviews (SRs) in MEDLINE, Embase, The Cochrane Library, Epistemonikos, and PROSPERO. Two authors assessed eligibility independently. Data extraction and methodological quality assessment were conducted by one author and cross-checked by another one. We evaluated the overlap of primary studies, performed a de novo meta-analysis, and assessed the certainty of evidence. Primary outcomes were overall survival (OS), quality of life (QoL), functional status (FS), and toxicity.

Results: We identified three SRs that assessed SOT versus supportive care in patients with advanced PC. All SRs had critically low methodological quality. At 12 months, OS improved with chemotherapy, radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy, and immunotherapy, but the certainty of the evidence supporting these findings is very low. The evidence on chemotherapy is very uncertain about its effects on QoL; it suggests a slight increase in toxicity and little to no difference in FS. The evidence on immunotherapy is very uncertain about its effects in toxicity.

Conclusions: The identified evidence is very uncertain about the benefits of oncological treatments on OS and QoL in patients with advanced PC with a high risk of dying in the short or medium-term, so its use should be proposed only to selected patients. Further studies that include a thorough assessment of patient-centred outcomes are needed.
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September 2021

Patient decision aids for adults with advanced chronic kidney disease with a medical recommendation to start dialysis: a scoping review protocol.

JBI Evid Synth 2021 Jun 23. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, Spain Nephrology Department, Fundación Puigvert, Barcelona, Spain Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia Interdisciplinary Centre for Health Studies, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile Clinical Epidemiology and Public Health Department, Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain.

Objective: To identify and describe the content and assess the quality of available decision aids aimed at adults with advanced chronic kidney disease with medical indication to start dialysis who need to choose one of the two dialysis modalities.

Introduction: The lack of evidence regarding the superiority of the different options for dialysis, hemodialysis, and peritoneal dialysis, indicated in advanced chronic kidney disease, makes the shared decision-making process especially important.

Inclusion Criteria: We will include decision aids from published studies and non-published material aimed at adults with advanced chronic kidney disease.

Methods: We will perform searches in MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, the Cochrane Library, and Epistemonikos. In addition, we will search unpublished studies in OpenGrey,, and Open Access Theses and Dissertations. We will also identify decision aids through a specific search in Google and by searching websites of nephrology societies or associations. We will include decision aids in English or Spanish aimed at adults with advanced chronic kidney disease with medical indication to start dialysis. Two independent reviewers will screen, select, and extract the data. General aspects and attributes of the decision aids will be collected. Their quality will be evaluated, and their recommendations for implementation in clinical practice will be analyzed.
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June 2021

The Perspectives of Patients with Chronic Diseases and Their Caregivers on Self-Management Interventions: A Scoping Review of Reviews.

Patient 2021 Nov 19;14(6):719-740. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre (IbCC)-Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute (IIB-Sant Pau), C/ Sant Antoni Maria Claret 167. Pabellón 18, Planta 0, 08025, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Self-management (SM) interventions are supportive interventions systematically provided by healthcare professionals, peers, or laypersons to increase the skills and confidence of patients in their ability to manage chronic diseases. We had two objectives: (1) to summarise the preferences and experiences of patients and their caregivers (informal caregivers and healthcare professionals) with SM in four chronic diseases and (2) to identify and describe the relevant outcomes for SM interventions from these perspectives.

Methods: We conducted a mixed-methods scoping review of reviews. We searched three databases until December 2020 for quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods reviews exploring patients' and caregivers' preferences or experiences with SM in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and heart failure (HF). Quantitative data were narratively synthesised, and qualitative data followed a three-step descriptive thematic synthesis. Identified themes were categorised into outcomes or modifiable factors of SM interventions.

Results: We included 148 reviews covering T2DM (n = 53 [35.8%]), obesity (n = 20 [13.5%]), COPD (n = 32 [21.6%]), HF (n = 38 [25.7%]), and those with more than one disease (n = 5 [3.4%]). We identified 12 main themes. Eight described the process of SM (disease progression, SM behaviours, social support, interaction with healthcare professionals, access to healthcare, costs for patients, culturally defined roles and perceptions, and health knowledge), and four described their experiences with SM interventions (the perceived benefit of the intervention, individualised care, sense of community with peers, and usability of equipment). Most themes and subthemes were categorised as outcomes of SM interventions.

Conclusion: The process of SM shaped the perspectives of patients and their caregivers on SM interventions. Their perspectives were influenced by the perceived benefit of the intervention, the sense of community with peers, the intervention's usability, and the level of individualised care. Our findings can inform the selection of patient-important outcomes, decision-making processes, including the formulation of recommendations, and the design and implementation of SM interventions.
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November 2021

Learning to make informed health choices: Protocol for a pilot study in schools in Barcelona.

F1000Res 2019 28;8:2018. Epub 2019 Nov 28.

Centre for Informed Health Choices, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.

The Informed Health Choices (IHC) project has developed learning resources to teach primary school children (10 to 12-year-olds) to assess treatment claims and make informed health choices. The aim of our study is to explore both the students' and teachers' experience when using these resources in the context of Barcelona (Spain). During the 2019-2020 school year, we will conduct a pilot study with 4 and 5 -year primary school students (9 to 11-year-olds) from three schools in Barcelona. The intervention in the schools will include: 1) a workshop with the teachers, and 2) lessons to the students. The data collection will include: 1) assessment of the IHC resources by the teachers before the lessons, 2) non-participatory observations during the lessons, 3) semi-structured interviews with the students after a lesson, 4) assessment of the lessons by the teachers after a lesson, 5) treatment claim assessment by the students at the end of the lessons, and 6) assessment of the IHC resources by the teachers at the end of the lessons. We will use questionnaires and guides to register the data. We will perform a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data to explore understandability, desirability, suitability, usefulness, facilitators and barriers of the resources. The most relevant results will be discussed and some recommendations on how to use, how to adapt (if needed), and how to implement the IHC resources to this context will be agreed. The findings of the contextualization activities could inform the design of a cluster-randomised trial, to determine the effectiveness of the IHC resources in this context prior to scaling-up its use. The study protocol has obtained an approval exemption from the Ethics Committee of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (Barcelona, Spain).
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July 2020

A survey to assess awareness and opinion of initiatives and recommendations on low-value diagnostic practices.

BMC Health Serv Res 2020 Jun 5;20(1):505. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

Centro Cochrane Iberoamericano. Servicio de Epidemiología Clínica y Salud Pública, Hospital de Sant Pau, IIBSant Pau, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: The need to reduce healthcare practices that provide no value has led to the development of initiatives that generate and publish recommendations to improve the appropriateness of clinical practice by identifying potentially inappropriate services, making recommendations, and proposing improvements. DianaHealth ( identifies, classifies, and publishes recommendations from numerous scientific societies. The purpose of this study was to determine the awareness and perceived usefulness and applicability of published recommendations on low-value diagnostic measures, as judged by physicians who are recognised clinical leaders in their respective centres.

Methods: We designed a questionnaire on the diagnostic recommendations considered relevant for each medical specialty and made it available, until September 2016, on DianaHealth. The survey was administered online to clinical leaders from 25 Spanish healthcare centres (hospitals and primary care centres).

Results: A total of 413 (40.0%) physicians from 34 different specialties participated. The participation rate varied between centres (range 21.1%-100.0%) and specialties (range 12.5%-78.9%). Do Not Do (57.1%) was the most widely-known initiative. Most participants (82.6%; IQR 77.9%-94.9%) stated that they knew at least one of the 12 initiatives that identify non-recommended practices, and on average they were aware of four initiatives (range 1-12). The initiatives were perceived useful by 82.4% (IQR 73.3%-90.4%), and perceived applicable by 75.6% (IQR 67.4%-86.8%). A total of 531 recommendations were assessed. Sixty-three percent (IQR 53.6%-77.5%) of participants reported they were aware of the recommendations for their corresponding specialty. A total of 84.5% (IQR 75.0%-90.0%) stated they agreed with the recommendations and 84.5% (IQR 75.0%-90.0%) considered them useful. Among those who agreed with their respective recommendations, a median of 51.5% (IQR 41.4%-60.9%) perceived the guidelines as being fully implemented, 40.1% (IQR 31.9%-46.8%) considered them partially implemented, and 7.1% (IQR 3.7%-12.9%), not implemented.

Conclusions: Clinical leaders' awareness of initiatives that generate and publish recommendations to improve clinical appropriateness remains low, although they did consider them useful. In general, participants were familiar with their speciality-specific diagnostic recommendations, agreed with them, and perceived them as useful and implemented in their centres. More needs to be done to raise awareness among professionals who do not know of or apply these recommendations.
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June 2020

[Preventive medicine and public health specialists' opinion about recommendations of low-value practices: a pilot survey].

Gac Sanit 2020 Sep - Oct;34(5):528-529. Epub 2019 Dec 24.

Servicio de Epidemiología Clínica y Salud Pública, Hospital de Sant Pau i de la Santa Creu; Centro Cochrane Iberoamericano; Institut de Recerca IIB Sant Pau, Barcelona, España.

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October 2021