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Table 2 Quality of assessment of primary outcome according to the GRADE system

From: Effect of stellate ganglion block on postoperative recovery of gastrointestinal function in patients undergoing surgery with general anaesthesia: a meta-analysis

Certainty assessment Summary of findings
Participants (studies) Follow up Risk of bias Inconsistency Indirectness Imprecision Publication bias Overall certainty of evidence Study event rates (%) Relative effect (95% CI) Anticipated absolute effects
With sham therapy or blank control With SGB Risk with sham therapy or blank control Risk difference with SGB
Postoperative flatus time (Scale from: 0 to 100)
 274 (5 RCTs) Not serious a Seriousb Not serious Not serious c Noned Moderate 146 128 The mean postoperative flatus time was 146 h MD 15.07 h lower (27.58 lower to 2.56 lower)
  1. CI confidence interval, MD mean difference
  2. aFour studies reported how the random sequence was generated, while one only stated that patients were randomly allocated into two groups but did not mention how randomization. Two included studies did not perform any sham procedures, so the allocation concealment and blinding of participants and personnel could not be assessed, leading to a high risk of selection and performance bias [15, 16]. Furthermore, no studies described blinding of outcome assessments
  3. bThe number of included studies is small, and there are some differences among them
  4. cWe calculate the optimal information size, the largest one is 102, and the total sample of each group are both more than 102
  5. dThe publication bias was assessed by using funnel plot (the funnel plot is symmetrical), the Begg and the Egger test (the P value were 0.22 and 0.65 separately)