Systematic search and review procedures: results of the who collaborating centre task force on mild traumatic brain injury
Linda J. Carroll A1, J David Cassidy A1, Paul M. Peloso A4, Chantelle Garritty A5, Lori Giles-Smith A1
A1 Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, Department of Public Health Sciences University of Alberta Edmonton Alberta Canada
A2 Department of Medicine University of Alberta Edmonton Alberta Canada
A3 Section for Personal Injury Prevention, Department of Clinical Neurosciences Karolinska Institutet Stockholm Sweden
A4 Department of Internal Medicine University of Iowa Health Center Iowa City Iowa USA
A5 Institute for Work and Health Toronto Ontario USA
The WHO Collaborating Centre for Neurotrauma Task Force on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury performed a comprehensive search and critical review of the literature published between 1980 and 2002 to assemble the best evidence on the epidemiology, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of mild traumatic brain injury. Our primary sources of literature were Medline, Cinahl, PsycINFO and Embase. Citations were screened for relevance to mild traumatic brain injury, using a priori criteria, and relevant studies were critically reviewed for scientific merit. We identified 38,806 citations, of which 671 studies were judged relevant to the mandate of the task force. These, plus 70 studies found by hand-searching reference lists and 2 original research reports performed as part of the task force mandate were subjected to critical reviews. After review, 313 (42%) were accepted on scientific merit and comprise our best-evidence synthesis. Ninety percent of the literature on mild traumatic brain injury was found in Medline and another 5% in PsycINFO.