Rapid Diagnostic Tests versus Clinical Diagnosis for Managing People with Fever in Malaria Endemic Settings

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Systematic review

Source: The Cochrane Collaborative

Last Reviewed: April 2014

In this Cochrane systematic review, the Cochrane Collaborative found that using rapid diagnostic tests rather than symptom reports alone to diagnose malaria had little effect on the number of people still feeling sick 4 to 7 days after treatment. However, researchers found that using these tests did result in fewer prescriptions for antimalarial drugs. The reduction was highest when health workers only prescribed antimalarials after a positive test, and where malaria was less common.

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Odaga, J., Sinclair, D., Lokong, J. A., Donegan, S., Hopkins, H., & Garner, P. (2014). Rapid diagnostic tests versus clinical diagnosis for managing people with fever in malaria endemic settings. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2014 (4). DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008998.pub2.