Meta-analysis of number needed to treat for diagnosis of melanoma by clinical setting.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Systematic Review)

OBJECTIVE: To provide a formal statistical comparison of the efficacy of melanoma detection among different clinical settings. METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis of all relevant observational studies on number needed to treat (NNT) in relation to melanoma was performed in MEDLINE. We performed a random-effects model meta-analysis and reported NNTs with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The subgroup analysis was related to clinical setting. RESULTS: In all, 29 articles including a total of 398,549 biopsies/excisions were analyzed. The overall NNT was 9.71 (95% CI, 7.72-12.29): 22.62 (95% CI, 12.95-40.10) for primary care, 9.60 (95% CI, 6.97-13.41) for dermatology, and 5.85 (95% CI, 4.24-8.27) for pigmented lesion specialists. LIMITATIONS: There is heterogeneity in data reporting and the possibility of missing studies. In addition, the incidence of melanoma varies among clinical settings, which could affect NNT calculations. CONCLUSION: Pigmented lesion specialists have the lowest NNT, followed by dermatologists, suggesting that involving specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of pigmented skin lesions can likely improve patient outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Petty, AJ; Ackerson, B; Garza, R; Peterson, M; Liu, B; Green, C; Pavlis, M

Published Date

  • May 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 82 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1158 - 1165

PubMed ID

  • 31931085

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7167347

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-6787

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jaad.2019.12.063


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States