Traumatic brain injury rehabilitation: an overview of systematic reviews of intervention effectiveness. A pre-published protocol
Englas, Kadri; Hay-Smith, E. Jean C.; Pollock, Alex; Levack, William M. M.
INTRODUCTION. Many authors are in favour of using systematic reviews as a method for evidence synthesis in rehabilitation and the last decade has introduced several guidelines to help with their implementation in rehabilitation contexts. At present, however, there is little clear information about the quantity and quality of systematic reviews on TBI rehabilitation interventions. AIM. We aim to conduct an overview of systematic reviews published on TBI rehabilitation interventions in order to summarise the current state of evidence in this area of clinical practice. In addition to providing information on strength of evidence for intervention effectiveness, our goal is to research and summarise two additional domains: reviews’ characteristics and evidence gaps. METHODS. We will carry out a comprehensive search of the Cochrane Library database (including Database of Abstracts and Reviews of Effectiveness) MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, Epistemonikos, PDQ-evidence, and PubMed to find relevant systematic reviews. We also will make efforts to identify ongoing reviews by searching for protocols in the Cochrane Library database and in PROSPERO. We are not going to search grey literature. We will use Covidence (https://www.covidence.org/home) to manage review selection. Two review team members will independently select the reviews to be included to the overview. A third researcher will be consulted for resolving disagreements. We will use Knack software (https://www.knack.com/), to extract data on review characteristics and review findings. We will include the systematic reviews on the adult TBI population (regardless of severity, stage of recovery, or other aspects of clinical presentation), any kind of rehabilitation interventions (regardless of setting, uni- or multidisciplinarity etc) to describe review characteristics. From those systematic reviews the ones with comparisons with no treatment, placebo or sham treatment, and usual care; and with outcomes such as quality of life, activity and participation – as per International Classification of Functioning, Disability & Health –residential status, family burden, and adverse effects will provide basis for intervention effectiveness analysis. We will assess the quality of reporting with updated PRISMA (Transparent Reporting of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis) by making a judgement of “yes/no/unclear” without further descriptions. We will assess the methodological quality of included reviews with AMSTAR 2 (A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews) instrument. SYNTHESIS. We will provide a report on the characteristics of all included reviews using simple statistical analyses and narrative accounts and the main summary of results based on intervention effectiveness. Also, we aim to present conclusions specific to each intervention in terms of the current evidence base: statistical and/or narrative descriptions of effects and the evidence quality, relevant contextual factors, population, rehabilitation setting, and comparisons researched. We will not perform meta-analysis. In order to example gaps in the current evidence of TBI rehabilitation, we will separately summarise the information on ICF categorizations covered with low or very-low quality evidence or no evidence at all from existing systematic reviews. CONCLUSIONS. To support knowledge translation, we will organise the overview of reviews’ findings as comprehensive evidence maps.
Keywords: brain injury, traumatic; rehabilitation; overview; systematic review; evidence based practice
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