The Impact of Trauma System Implementation on Patient Quality of Life and Economic Burden: A Systematic Review Study Protocol.
BACKGROUND: Trauma accounts for 10% of global mortality, with increasing rates disproportionally affecting low- and middle-income countries. In an attempt to improve clinical outcomes after injury, trauma systems have been implemented in multiple countries over recent years. However, whilst many studies have subsequently demonstrated improvements in overall mortality outcomes, less is known about the impact trauma systems have on morbidity, quality of life, and economic burden. This systematic review seeks to assess the existing evidence base for trauma systems with these outcome measures. METHODS: This review will include any study that assesses the impact implementation of a trauma system has on patient morbidity, quality of life, or economic burden. Any comparator study, including cohort, case-control, and randomised controlled studies, will be included, both retrospective or prospective in nature. Studies conducted from any region in the world and involving any age of patient will be included. We will collect data on any morbidity outcomes, health-related quality of life measures, or health economic assessments reported. We predict a high heterogeneity in these outcomes used and will therefore keep inclusion criteria broad. DISCUSSION: Previous reviews have shown the significant improvements that can be achieved in mortality outcomes with the implementation of an organised trauma system, however the wider impact they can have on morbidity outcomes, quality of life measures, and the economic burden of trauma, is less well described. This systematic review will present all available data on these outcomes, helping to better characterise both the societal and economic impact of trauma system implementation. HIGHLIGHTS: Trauma systems are known to improve mortality rates, however less in known on the impact they have on morbidity outcomes, quality of life, and economic burdenWe aim to perform a systematic review to identify any comparator study that assesses the impact implementation of a trauma system on these outcomesUnderstanding the impact trauma systems can have on wider parameters, such as economic and quality of life outcomes, is crucial to allow governments globally to appropriately allocate often limited healthcare resources.PROSPERO registration number: CRD42022348529.