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The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-018-0686-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Cervical cancer has become the most common cancer affecting women in Africa. Significantly, 85% of these annual deaths occur in the developing world, with the majority being middle-aged women. Research has shown that in sub-Saharan Africa, cervical cancer trends are on the rise in the past two decades because of HIV and this has resulted in an increase in cervical cancer cases among young women. However, little or no information exists that has shown that any of the available treatment methods are more effective than others when it comes to treating cervical cancer in HIV-seropositive women. The aim of this protocol is to offer a plan on how to systematically review cervical cancer treatment methods available for HIV-seropositive women in developing countries.
The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols (PRISMA-P) statement was used to develop the protocol for the systematic review which will be reported in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. A number of databases, Embase, MEDLINE, PubMed, CINAHL and Cochrane Library, will be searched for relevant studies, and citation and reference list tracking will be used to search for additional studies. Prospective and retrospective cohort studies, case-control, randomised controlled trials and cross-sectional studies that were carried out in and for the developing world will be eligible for inclusion. Peer-reviewed studies and grey literature examining cervical cancer treatment modalities in HIV-seropositive women will be included. Descriptive statistics and tables will be used to summarise results, and meta-analysis will be used where appropriate.
The review findings will provide the current picture of the existing treatment methods being used to treat cervical cancer in HIV-seropositive women in developing countries. The findings might be used for the establishment of evidence-based guidelines for treatment of cervical cancer in seropositive women as well as prompt policy-makers and governments to decide and support future research in a way to find a lasting solution.
Systematic review registration