Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Studies of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with at least 85% follow-up were eligible for inclusion. The duration of follow-up ranged from 1 to 27 months.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies of injectable corticosteroids were eligible for inclusion. The corticosteroids included were betamethasone sodium phosphate, methylprednisolone acetate and triamcinolone acetonide combined with varying doses of 1% lidocaine. Two trials were placebo-controlled, one compared corticosteroid alone with percutaneous release with corticosteroid, and the fourth compared intra-sheath corticosteroid with subcutaneous corticosteroid.
Participants included in the review
Studies of adults with a diagnosis of trigger finger were included. The mean age of the participants ranged from 52 to 62 years. Seventy-five per cent of the participants were women. The majority of digits studied were fingers, although some patients with solely thumb involvement were included. Patients with co-morbid diabetes were included in one study; other studies excluded patients with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or previous injection. The duration of symptoms prior to enrolment and duration of follow-up varied within and between studies.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Inclusion criteria were not defined in terms of the outcomes. The reported outcome was pain. The measures used varied between studies and were non-standardised.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.