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A Systematic Review of Neurosurgical Care in Low-Income Countries.

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Weiss, Hannah K 
Garcia, Roxanna M 
Omiye, Jesutofunmi A 
Vervoort, Dominique  ORCID logo
Riestenberg, Robert 


Objective:More than 5 billion individuals lack access to essential surgical care. Neurosurgical care is especially limited in low-income countries (LICs). Studies describing neurosurgical care in LICs are critical for understanding global disparities in access to neurosurgical procedures. To better understand these disparities, we conducted a systematic review of the literature identifying neurosurgical patients in LICs. Methods:MEDLINE (PubMed), Embase (, and Cochrane Library (Wiley) databases were systematically searched to retrieve studies describing neurosurgical care in LICs as defined by the World Bank Country and Lending Groups income classification. All databases were searched from their inception; no date or language limits were applied. All the articles were blindly reviewed by 2 individuals. Data from eligible studies were extracted and summarized. Results:Of the 4377 citations screened, 154 studies met inclusion criteria. The number of publications substantially increased over the study period, with 49% (n = 76) of studies published in the last 5 years. Twenty-six percent (n = 40) of studies had a first author, and 30% (n = 46) had a senior author, affiliated with a country different from the LIC of study. The most common neurosurgical diagnosis was traumatic brain injury (24%, n = 37), followed by hydrocephalus (26%, n = 40), and neoplastic intracranial mass (10%, n = 16). Of LICs, 43% (n = 15/35) had no published neurosurgical literature. Conclusions:There is a significant deficit in the literature on neurosurgical care in LICs. Efforts must focus on supporting research initiatives in LICs to improve publication bias and understand disparities in access to neurosurgical care in the lowest-resource countries.



Research, Traumatic brain injury, Hydrocephalus, Literature review, Global Health, Low-income Countries, Tbi, Traumatic Brain Injury, Global Neurosurgery, Lcogs, Lancet Commission On Global Surgery, Lic, Low-income Country

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World neurosurgery: X

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