Scottish Cosmetic Interventions Expert Group Report July 2015

Report on usage and numbers of cosmetic interventions being conducted in Scotland and recommendation on regulation of Independent Healthcare Providers.

Annex 3: Methodology for the literature review

The High Quality Care subgroup identified a need for a rapid literature review to collate relevant academic evidence which could help inform their deliberations. In keeping with the broader SCIEG work, the following procedures were focussed upon:

  • Botulinum toxins
  • Dermal fillers
  • Chemical peels and skin rejuvenation
  • Lasers, IPL & LED
  • Hair restoration surgery

It was noted that the Keogh Review[20] had summarised some of the relevant evidence base and therefore the following key questions were identified as gaps, accepting that the academic literature may be limited:

  • What is the reported frequency of uptake of different procedures?
  • What are the rates of complications for different procedures?
  • What are the positive and negative impacts of different procedures?
  • Are there any specific population groups who may be differentially impacted by cosmetic procedures?
  • What regulatory approaches have been tried and what lessons can be learnt from these?

Where possible, there was a desire to find evidence that was as locally relevant as possible.

The Medline and Embase databases were searched on 6th October 2014. Searches were limited to review articles (Medline only), 'Human' and published after 1980. Search terms for the population group included "Cosmetic", "Aesthetic" and "Beauty". Terms for the interventions included "Botox", "Botulinum toxin", "wrinkle", "hair AND transplant", "dermal AND filler" etc. The outcomes searched for include "side-effects", "risks" and "adverse impacts". Additional articles were also identified through scrutinising the citations of included studies.

The titles and abstracts of 4911 articles were screened, with data extracted from 74 full-text articles. Given the heterogeneity of interventions, research questions and available evidence, key themes to answer the research questions were summarised through narrative synthesis.


Email: Quality Team

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