Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Inclusion of studies was mainly based on the methods section of the trials. When available, large well controlled trials with appropriate statistical methodology were preferred. Of the included trials, seven were double-blind randomised placebo controlled, multicentre trials; two were randomised, double-blind trials comparing different drugs; and three were non-comparative extensions of placebo-controlled trials.
Specific interventions included in the review
Finasteride. Studies included in the review compared it to placebo, terazosin, finesteride plus terazosin or serenoa repens. Dosages ranged from 1 mg-5 mg/day (most were 5mg/day) and duration of the treatment was between 6 months and 6 years.
Participants included in the review
People with benign prostatic hyperplasia. In all but one of the trials the inclusion criterion was mild to moderate uncomplicated symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Symptomatic relief (as measured by the modified Boyarsky score or the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS)/American Urological Association (AUA) symptom score), reductions in prostate volume, risk of benign prostatic hypertrophy-related acute urinary retention, requirement for surgical intervention, increases in urinary flow rates, costs, quality of life, tolerability, adverse effects and adverse events.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors do not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many of the authors performed the selection.