Screening strategies for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus : a systematic review protocol

Mearns, Helen ; Otiku, Paul K. ; Shelton, Mary ; Kredo, Tamara ; Kagina, Benjamin M. ; Schmidt, Bey-Marrie (2020-07-13)

CITATION: Mearns, H., et al. 2020. Screening strategies for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus : a systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 9:156, doi:10.1186/s13643-020-01417-3.

The original publication is available at https://systematicreviewsjournal.biomedcentral.com

Article

Background: There is limited evidence on whether screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus affects health outcomes. A recent systematic review of randomised clinical trials found only one trial that met their inclusion criteria; therefore, current guidelines for screening interventions for type 2 diabetes mellitus are based on expert opinions and best practice rather than synthesised evidence. This systematic review seeks to collate evidence from nonrandomised studies to investigate the effect of screening for adults with type 2 diabetes on outcomes including diabetes-related morbidity, mortality (all-cause and diabetes-related) and harms. Methods: This systematic review will follow Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) guidelines for the synthesis of non-randomised studies. We will search PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, Academic Search Premier and Health Source Nursing Academic (from inception onwards). We will include non-randomised trials, controlled before-after studies, interrupted time-series studies, repeated measures studies and concurrently controlled prospective cohort studies. The primary outcome will be diabetes-related morbidity (microvascular complications of diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy or neuropathy or macrovascular complications of non-fatal myocardial infarction, peripheral arterial disease or non-fatal stroke). The secondary outcomes will be mortality (allcause and diabetes-related) and harms of screening strategies to patients (including psychological harms or adverse events following treatments) or to health care system (including resource allocation for false-positives or overdiagnosis). Two reviewers will independently screen all citations and full-text articles. Data will be abstracted by one reviewer and checked by a second. The risk of bias of individual studies will be appraised using the ROBINS-I tool. GRADE will be used to determine the quality of the scientific evidence. If feasible, we will conduct random effects meta-analysis where appropriate. If necessary, analyses will be conducted to explore the potential sources of heterogeneity (e.g. age, sex, socio-economic status, rural versus urban or low-middle income versus high-income country). We will disseminate the findings via publications and through relevant networks. Discussion: The protocol outlines the methods for systematically reviewing and synthesising evidence of screening strategies for type 2 diabetes mellitus and their effect on health outcomes associated with the disease. The potential impact of this systematic review is improved evidence-informed decision-making for policies and practice for screening of type-2 diabetes.

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