Six trials, detailing nine publications (n=3,885 patients), were included in the review; eight publications were RCTs. All the trials were classified as having moderate risk of bias. The follow-up duration ranged from 188 days to 12 months (where reported).
Patients receiving anticoagulant therapy (three trials): One trial showed no significant difference of the time spent in the target range of the international normalised ratio (INR) between the point-of-care testing and control groups. Two trials reported that there was a significant improvement in the time spent in the target range of INR in the point-of-care testing group at the end of the trial (within-group analysis), but there was no significant difference for this outcome between the intervention and control groups.
Patients with diabetes (two trials): Two trials reported that there were no significant differences in the glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) values between the point-of-care testing and control groups. One trial reported a significant improvement in the mean HbA1c value within the point-of-care testing group; the general practice significantly intensified diabetes therapy in the point-of-care testing group compared with the control group.
Patients with hyperlipidaemia (one trial): One trial reported that, compared with the control group, point-of-care testing significantly impacted on clinical decisions with more coronary heart disease interventions in the intervention group.
One trial showed that point-of-care testing overestimated the INR result from the point-of-care testing compared with the pathology laboratory testing. The Bland-Altman plots revealed that the agreement between point-of-care testing and pathology laboratory testing was clinically acceptable.
Results of patient satisfaction and health professional satisfaction with point-of-care testing were also reported.