PRISMA-Children (C) and PRISMA-Protocol for Children (P-C) Extensions: a study protocol for the development of guidelines for the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of newborn and child health research
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INTRODUCTION: Paediatric systematic reviews differ from adult systematic reviews in several key aspects such as considerations of child tailored interventions, justifiable comparators, valid outcomes and child sensitive search strategies. Available guidelines, including PRISMA-P (2015) and PRISMA (2009), do not cover all the complexities associated with reporting systematic reviews in the paediatric population. Using a collaborative, multidisciplinary structure, we aim to develop evidence-based and consensus-based PRISMA-P-C (Protocol for Children) and PRISMA-C (Children) Extensions to guide paediatric systematic review protocol and completed review reporting. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This project's methodology follows published recommendations for developing reporting guidelines and involves the following six phases; (1) establishment of a steering committee representing key stakeholder groups; (2) a scoping review to identify potential Extension items; (3) three types of consensus activities including meetings of the steering committee to achieve high-level decisions on the content and methodology of the Extensions, a survey of key stakeholders to generate a list of possible items to include in the Extensions and a formal consensus meeting to select the reporting items to add to, or modify for, the Extension; (4) the preliminary checklist items generated in phase III will be evaluated against the existing evidence and reporting practices in paediatric systematic reviews; (5) extension statements and explanation and elaboration documents will provide detailed advice for each item and examples of good reporting; (6) development and implementation of effective knowledge translation of the extension checklist, and an evaluation of the Extensions by key stakeholders. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This protocol was considered a quality improvement project by the Hospital for Sick Children's Ethics Committee and did not require ethical review. The resultant checklists, jointly developed with all relevant stakeholders, will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals as well as national and international conference presentations. Endorsement of the checklist will be sought simultaneously in multiple journals.
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