Table 5: Grade assessment of studies. Question: should Huangqi versus conventional treatment be used for upper respiratory tract infection? Settings: parallel RCT.

Upper respiratory tract infection rate

Quality assessment

No. of patients

Effect

Quality

Importance

No. of studies

Design

Risk of bias

Inconsistency

Indirectness

Imprecision

Other considerations

Huangqi

Conventional treatment

Relative (95% CI)

Absolute

16/67 (23.9%)

27/63 (42.9%)

19 fewer per 100 (from 3 fewer to 29 fewer)

2

Randomised trials

Serious^{1}

No serious inconsistency

No serious indirectness

Serious^{2}

None

10%

RR 0.56 (0.33 to 0.93)

4 fewer per 100 (from 1 fewer to 7 fewer)

Low

Critical

40%

18 fewer per 100 (from 3 fewer to 27 fewer)

Studies were at unclear risk of bias, for the paper did not provide the bias information of the study design. So we determine the potential limitations are likely to lower confidence in the estimate of effect. ^{
2}Total number of events is less than 300, and a relative risk reduction (RRR) or relative risk increase (RRI) is greater than 25%.