Multimorbidity in children and youth: a scoping review protocol
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INTRODUCTION: Multimorbidity (co-occurring physical and mental illness) is an important issue for clinicians and researchers with combined efforts aimed at promoting the health and well-being of individuals across the life course. In children and youth, experience of any chronic physical illness leads to a substantial increase in risk for mental illness. As a growing field of interest, research is needed to map the current state of the literature in child and youth multimorbidity in order to identify existing gaps and inform the direction of future investigations. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We are proposing the conduct of a scoping review to explore the depth and breadth of existing evidence in the field of child and youth multimorbidity. The scoping review will follow the methodological framework developed by Arksey and O'Malley, and will incorporate additional scoping review recommendations made by Levac et al. A systematic search of the following four key databases will be conducted: (1) PubMed; (2) EMBASE; (3) PsycINFO; and (4) Scopus, using combinations of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and Emtree terms. We will also consult grey literature sources and hand-search reference lists of included studies to identify additional studies of relevance. For eligible studies that meet all identified inclusion and exclusion criteria, a data extraction tool will be used to collect and store key study characteristics that will be relevant for collating, summarising and reporting the results of the scoping review. This scoping review also presents a novel use of quality index scoring, which we anticipate will contribute to strengthening the rigour of the scoping review methodology. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The proposed scoping review does not require ethical approval. Final study results will be disseminated via conference presentations, publication in a peer-reviewed journal and knowledge translation activities with relevant stakeholders.
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