Current Stroke Burden in Ghana: A Comprehensive Systematic Review Protocol
Joseph Attakorah*, Kofi Boamah Mensah, Varsha Bangalee, Frasia Oosthuizen, Ebenezer Wiafe
Introduction: There is a lack of data summarizing the current burden of stroke in Ghana. The establishment of data on the current burden, incidence, and mortality of stroke in this country may guide decision-making toward interventions to curb the stroke burden. This protocol aims to describe the methods for a systematic review of the literature on the incidence, prevalence, and mortality of strokes in Ghana. Methods and design: We will perform a comprehensive search strategy of relevant abstracts and articles published from 1st May, 2013 to 31st May, 2020 related to prevalence or incidence or mortality in Ghana. Relevant articles will be searched from electronic databases including MEDLINE (PubMed), CINAHL (EBSCO), Web of Science, and PsycINFO (EBSCOhost). Full text of eligible studies will be included if they estimated one of the following epidemiological measures: burden, incidence and mortality. Studies that will meet the eligibility criteria will be assess for overall study quality, reliability and risk of bias, using design-specific criteria. We will appraise the included studies' reporting and methodology quality and perform a quantitative summary of reported outcomes where applicable. Discussion: Existing knowledge on the incidence or prevalence, or mortality of strokes in Ghana are limited. This review aims to present relevant information that will inform local policy on cardiovascular diseases and future research. The final report of this protocol, in the form of a scientific paper, will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and findings will be submitted to relevant health authorities. We also plan to update the review in the future to monitor changes and guide health service and policy solutions.