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Table 4 Summary of findings

From: Effectiveness of primary school-based interventions in improving oral health of children in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Certainty assessment No. of patients Effect Certainty Importance
No. of studies Study design Risk of bias Inconsistency Indirectness Imprecision Other considerations Experiment Control Relative
(95% CI)
Absolute
(95% CI)
Dental caries measured by DMFT scores
7 4 Randomised trials
2 Quasi experiments
1 Non-randomized trial
Seriousa Not serious Seriousb Seriousc None 4392 2374 SMD − 0.33
(− 0.56, − 0.10)

Very low
IMPORTANT
Dental caries measured by net increment in DMFT scores
5 3 Randomised trials
2 non-randomized trial
Seriousa Not serious Seriousb Seriousd None 3091 2401 SMD − 0.34
(− 0.69, 0.02)

Very low
IMPORTANT
Dental caries measured by DMFS scores
5 3 Randomised trials
1 quasi experiment
1 cohort study
Seriouse Not serious Seriousb Seriousf None 2110 1396 SMD − 0.26
(− 0.70, 0.18)

Very low
IMPORTANT
Dental caries measured by net increment in DMFS scores
3 2 Randomised trials
1 Cohort study
Seriouse Not serious Seriousb Seriousg None 2066 1689 SMD − 1.09
(− 1.91, 0.27)

Very low
IMPORTANT
Dental caries prevalence measured by dmft or DMFT/S score greater than one
4 1 Randomised trial
1 Quasi experiment
2 cohort studie
Seriousa Not serious Seriousb Serious None 871/2049 (42.5%) 553/919 (60.2%) RR 0.70
(0.53, 0.94)

Very low
IMPORTANT
Oral hygiene measured by plaque scores
7 All randomised trials Seriousa Not serious Seriousb Seriousi None 1971 1368 SMD − 0.32
(− 0.46, − 0.18)

Very low
IMPORTANT
Oral hygiene measured by gingival scores
3 All randomised trials Seriousa Not serious Seriousb Serious None 1094 479 SMD 0.12
(− 0.32, 0.55)

Very low
IMPORTANT
  1. The bold provides information on certainty of assessement, number of pateints, effect, certainty and importance
  2. CI confidence interval, RR risk ratio, SMD standardized mean difference
  3. aStudies show limitations for allocation concealment, blinding of participants, those delivering treatment and outcome assessors, and intention to treat analysis
  4. bInterventions delivered differently in different settings
  5. cFive of seven studies did not have the required sample (200) in each group to provide optimal information size (OIS)
  6. dTwo out of five studies did not have the required sample (200) in each group to provide optimal information size (OIS)
  7. eStudies show limitations with allocation concealment; blinding of participants, those delivering treatment and outcome assessors; intention to treat analysis and control confounding
  8. fFour out of five studies did not have the required sample (200) in each group to provide optimal information size (OIS)
  9. gOne out of three studies did not have the required sample (200) in each group to provide optimal information size (OIS)
  10. hThree out of four studies did not have the required sample (200) in each group to provide optimal information size (OIS)
  11. iSix out of seven studies did not have the required sample (200) in each group to provide optimal information size (OIS)
  12. jAll three studies did not have the required sample (200) in each group to provide optimal information size (OIS)