Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Double-blind randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible for inclusion.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies that compared a single, intra-operative intravenous dose of corticosteroids with placebo or no treatment were eligible for inclusion. The included studies used dexamethasone at doses ranging, where stated, from 0.4 to 1.0 mg/kg, giving a maximum total dose of 8 to 50 mg. The studies used different surgical techniques (cold, electrocautery or both) and different anaesthetic techniques (some studies controlled for the anaesthetic technique and others did not).
Participants included in the review
Studies of paediatric patients (aged 18 years or younger) undergoing tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy were eligible for inclusion. In all of the included studies, the participants underwent tonsillectomy and adenotonsillectomy.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies that assessed pain during the first 24 hours after surgery on a pain scale were eligible for inclusion. The included studies used different visual analogue scales (VAS) to assess pain.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the studies were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.