Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Studies that compared an intervention group with a control group were eligible for inclusion. The included studies were classified as before-and-after studies, controlled before-and-after studies or controlled cohort studies.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies of interventions aimed at changing the transfusion practices of physicians were eligible for inclusion. The included studies evaluated guidelines, audit with feedback or approval, the introduction of new transfusion forms or reminder forms, and group or individual education. Studies that mandated adherence to transfusion triggers or protocols were excluded.
Participants included in the review
Studies of physicians involved in the practice of blood transfusions were eligible for inclusion. The included studies targeted all physicians, surgeons and/or anaesthesiologists, or obstetricians and gynaecologists. Blood products transfused in the included studies were fresh frozen plasma (FFP), red blood cells (RBCs), platelets, cryoprecipitate, or albumin. Some studies evaluated more than one blood product.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies that reported on the number of units transfused, or the proportion of patients receiving transfusions, were eligible for inclusion.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Two reviewers independently assessed the eligibility of the included studies and any disagreements were resolved by consensus.