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Using evidence-based healthcare expertise to improve diagnosis and treatment

A Cochrane systematic review is being conducted for conditions related to liver, gallbladder, pancreatic and other upper digestive disorders in order to optimise diagnosis and treatment in this area.

  • Medical practice is based on traditions, many of which have no scientific basis. The diagnosis and management of upper digestive tract diseases, which accounts for approximately 4% of the £32.6 billion spent annually by NHS trusts in England), is no different. Patients, clinicians and healthcare funders need an up-to-date and authoritative source of information to guide the optimal investigations and treatment for these conditions. Cochrane systematic reviews satisfy most of these criteria and generally considered the best evidence of whether a treatment works or how well a diagnostic test identifies diseases.

    Dr Kurinchi Gurusamy is currently funded by the NIHR HTA 13/89/03 to conduct Cochrane systematic reviews related to liver, gallbladder, pancreatic and other upper digestive disorders. A number of these reviews have been conducted and published; more will be published in the course of next year. In addition to conducting Cochrane systematic reviews, Dr Kurinchi Gurusamy is also the course lead for the MSc in Evidence Based Healthcare programme in UCL in which he teaches doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to conduct systematic reviews and interpret existing evidence on how good a treatment works or how well a diagnostic test identifies disease. He believes that uniform high quality healthcare can be achieved by identifying the treatments that work and diagnostic tests that can reliably identify diseases and spending the limited resources available on these treatments and tests. In addition to performing systematic reviews, he is involved in the design of primary research studies that address the evidence gap in the literature. This has led to a number of successful grant applications in conducting clinical trials.