Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared sutures with staples for the management of traumatic or surgical wound were eligible for inclusion. Studies that evaluated deep tissue suturing alone were excluded, as were studies evaluating sutures versus staples in orthopedic operations. The review outcomes of interest were pain, wound closure time, infection, cosmetic outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Included studies evaluated interventions for various surgical wounds such as obstetrics and gynaecological operations, general surgery, head and neck operations, vascular surgery and emergency care surgery. The duration of follow-ups ranged from seven days to 11 months. Most studies were of adult patients, whilst a small proportion of studies were of paediatric patients. Where reported, the mean age of treatment groups ranged from 4.5 to 71.4 years.
The authors did not state how many reviewers assessed studies for inclusion.