JOURNAL ARTICLE
META-ANALYSIS
REVIEW
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
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Barrier Films and Dressings for the Prevention of Acute Radiation Dermatitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

PURPOSE: This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the efficacy of barrier films and dressings in preventing acute radiation dermatitis (RD).

METHODS: OVID Medline, Embase, and Cochrane databases were searched from 1946 to September 2020 to identify randomized controlled trials on the use of barrier films or dressings to prevent RD. For comparable outcomes between studies, pooled effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using the random effects analysis in RevMan 5.4.

RESULTS: Fourteen and 11 studies were included in the qualitative and quantitative analyses, respectively. Five types of barrier films used for RD were identified: Hydrofilm, StrataXRT®, Mepitel® Film, 3 M™ Cavilon™ No-Sting Barrier Film, and silver leaf nylon dressing. Hydrofilm and Mepitel Film significantly reduced the development of RD grade ≥ 2 in breast and head and neck cancer patients (RR 0.32, 95%CI 0.19, 0.56, p < 0.0001; RR 0.21, 95%CI 0.05, 0.89, p = 0.03, resp.). Moreover, Hydrofilm had a beneficial effect on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) (SMD -0.75, 95%CI -1.2, -0.29, p = 0.001). The meta-analyses on the other barrier films did not show any significant effect.

CONCLUSION: This review and meta-analysis demonstrated that Hydrofilm and Mepitel Film could effectively reduce RD severity and improve PROs. The evidence is generally weak for all the studies on barrier films and dressings due to a limited study number, high risk of bias, small sample sizes, and minimal comparable outcome measures. It's potential has been proven, but future research in this field is recommended to confirm the efficacy of these products and assess real-world feasibility.

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