predictors and consequences. A systematic review of longitudinal study protocols
BACKGROUND: Despite strong indications that fatigue is the most common and debilitating symptom after traumatic brain injury, little is known about its frequency, natural history, or relation to other factors. The current protocol outlines a strategy for a systematic review that will identify, assess, and critically appraise studies that assessed predictors for fatigue and the consequences of fatigue on at least two separate time points following traumatic brain injury. METHODS/DESIGN: MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CINAHL, and PsycINFO will be systematically searched for relevant peer-reviewed studies. Reference lists of eligible papers will also be searched. All English language studies with a longitudinal design that focus on fatigue in adults with primary-impact traumatic brain injury will be included. Studies on fatigue following brain injury due to secondary pathological processes (intracranial complications, edema, ischemia/infarction, and systemic intracranial conditions) will be excluded. Excluded studies, along with the reasons for exclusion will be reported. Two independent reviewers will conduct all levels of screening, data abstraction, and quality appraisal. Randomized control trial data will be treated as a cohort. The quality will be assessed using the criteria defined by Hayden and colleagues. The review will be conducted and reported in compliance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. CONCLUSIONS: The review will summarize the current knowledge in the field with the aim of increasing understanding and guiding future research on the associations between fatigue and clinically important factors, as well as the consequences of fatigue in traumatic brain injury. PROSPERO registry number: CRD42013004262.
Systematic Reviews, 2013, Vol 2
Adult; Brain Injuries; Fatigue; Humans; Longitudinal Studies; Meta-Analysis as Topic; Research Design; Review Literature as Topic