Methods of search

We searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or at least controlled trials of currently available medical and surgical treatments in the Cochrane Library and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline and Embase, with the keywords "vitiligo" and "treatment". We also searched for "controlled trial", "meta-analysis", "systematic review", "practice guideline", "quality of life" and "prognosis". The search was completed in February 2002, and all the relevant papers found were critically appraised and included. Reference search of the key papers was performed.

A protocol by Barrett and Whitton on "Interventions for vitiligo" is in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Two systematic reviews and a meta-analysis from which practice guidelines for the treatment of vitiligo were developed, by Njoo and coworkers, were published in the Evidence-based Dermatology section of Archives of Dermatology.

We found 10 additional controlled clinical studies published after the completion of the systematic reviews (December 1997). Only two studies addressed quality of life as an outcome.

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