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Chronic disease of childhood may be delayed by early dietary intervention. The purpose of this systematic review is to provide decision-makers with a perspective on the role of early dietary intervention, as a form of self-management, to delay disease progression in children with early chronic disease, as described by children, parents and other stakeholders.
The study will systematically review empirical research (qualitative, quantitative and mixed method designs), including grey literature, using a narrative synthesis. A four-stage search process will be conducted involving a scoping search, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) Patient Issues search filter on MEDLINE, the search of seven databases using a chronic disease and chronic kidney disease (CKD) search strategy, and hand searching the reference lists of identified papers for additional studies. All studies retrieved during the search process will undergo a screening and selection process against the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Methodological quality of relevant studies will be assessed using a validated Mixed Studies Review scoring system, before inclusion in the review. Relevant grey literature will be assessed for methodological quality and relative importance using McGrath et al.’s framework and the Academy Health advisory committee categories, respectively. Data extraction will be guided by the Centre for Review and Dissemination guidance and Popay et al.’s work. The narrative synthesis of the findings will use elements of Popay et al.’s methodology of narrative synthesis, applying recognised tools for each of the four elements: (1) developing a theory of how the intervention works, why and for whom; (2) developing a preliminary synthesis of findings of included studies; (3) exploring relationships in the data; and (4) assessing the robustness of the synthesis.
This mixed studies systematic review with a narrative synthesis seeks to elucidate the gaps in current knowledge and generate a fresh explanation of research findings on early dietary self-management in chronic disease, with particular application to CKD, from the stakeholders’ perspective. The review will provide an important platform to inform future research, identifying the facilitators and barriers to implementing early dietary interventions. Ultimately, the review will contribute vital information to inform future improvements in chronic disease. The lead author has a particular interest in CKD paediatric service delivery.
Systematic review registration
The review has been registered with PROSPERO (CRD42017078130).