Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


Objective: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not long-term antibiotic treatments are safe and effective in treating patients 16 and older with disseminated Lyme disease?

Study Design: Systematic review of three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in peer reviewed journals between 2010-2014, all English language.

Data Sources: The three randomized controlled trials were found using PubMed.

Outcomes Measured: Two of the studies measured quality of life using RAND-36 Health Status Inventory. The third study measured patients’ symptoms using a visual analogue scale.

Results: All three studies found no significant change in the quality of life or in patients’ symptoms when comparing extended antibiotic courses to placebo when treating persistent disseminated Lyme. Two studies had relatively low numbers needed to harm when looking at adverse events.

Conclusions: Based on the information provided by these three RCTs, it can be concluded that long-term antibiotic treatments are not safe or effective in treating patients 16 and older with disseminated Lyme disease. Both antibiotic treatments studied had adverse events and increasing duration did not improve quality of life or reduce symptoms any more than the placebo