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Table 3 Summary of findings

From: Small bowel feeding and risk of pneumonia in adult critically ill patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials

Outcomes Illustrative comparative risks* (95% CI) Relative effect(95% CI) Number of participants(studies) Quality of the evidence(GRADE)
  Assumed risk Corresponding risk    
  Gastric feeding Small bowel feeding    
Pneumonia 228 per 1000 160 per 1000(116 to 221) RR 0.70 (0.51 to 0.970) 994(12 studies) low1,2
Mortality 239 per 1000 258 per 1000(1000 to 309) RR 1.08 (90 to 1.29) 1232(15 studies) high
ICU length of stay N/A The mean ICU length of stay in the intervention groups was 0.057 lower(1.79 lower to 0.66 higher) N/A 762(8 studies) high
Duration of mechanical ventilation N/A The mean duration of mechanical ventilation in the intervention groups was 1.01 lower(3.37 lower to 1.35 higher) N/A 263(3 studies) low1,3
GI bleeding 116 per 1000 103 per 1000(65 to 165) RR 0.89 (0.56 to 1.42) 546(6 studies) low1,2
Aspiration 94 per 1000 87 per 1000(49 to 156) RR 0.92 (0.52 to 1.65) 472(6 studies) very low1,4
Vomiting 228 per 1000 208 per 1000(121 to 351) RR 0.91 (0.53 to 1.54) 553(6 studies) very low1,5,6
  1. *The basis for the assumed risk (e.g. the median control group risk across studies) is provided in footnotes. The corresponding risk (and its 95% CI) is based on the assumed risk in the comparison group and the relative effect of the intervention (and its 95% CI).
  2. CI, confidence interval; GI, gastrointestinal; RR, risk ratio.
  3. GRADE Working Group grades of evidence
  4. High quality: further research is very unlikely to change our confidence in the estimate of effect.
  5. Moderate quality: further research is likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and may change the estimate.
  6. Low quality: further research is very likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and is likely to change the estimate.
  7. Very low quality: we are very uncertain about the estimate.
  8. 1 downgraded for risk of bias, most studies did not blind outcome assessors
  9. 2 downgraded for imprecision, total number of events is less than 200
  10. 3 downgraded for imprecision 95% CI ranged from - 3.35 to 1.35
  11. 4 downgraded for imprecision by 2 points, only 40 events in total and 95% CI ranged between 0.52 to 1.65
  12. 5 downgraded for inconsistency I2 = 57%
  13. 6 downgraded for imprecision, only 105 events in total