Measuring circadian rhythms in patients with dementia: protocol for a scoping review

Victoria G Gabb, Louise Ince

Research output: Other contribution


Most physiological processes are under circadian regulation. Disturbances to circadian rhythms are common and often early symptoms in dementia. There is a gap in the literature regarding how and which circadian functions have been, or could optimally be, measured in patients with dementia. This protocol outlines a scoping review to identify which and how circadian variables have been studied in patients with dementia and mild cognitive impairment, and examine whether feasibility, acceptability, appropriateness, and utility in clinical practice has been considered. The scoping review will be conducted in accordance with the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology for scoping reviews and will be reported in line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). We will systematically search five electronic bibliographic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PsycInfo). There will be no restriction on date of publication or language; corresponding authors will be contacted where relevant non-English articles are identified to request a translation. Search results will be merged using reference management software and duplicates will be removed. To ensure consistency in applying eligibility criteria, 10% of retrieved articles will be checked by each reviewer in the team at the title and abstract screening stage and full texts will be reviewed by at least 2 reviewers. Data from eligible articles will be extracted using a standardised form. Where study outcomes (e.g., patient and public involvement, adherence) have not been described in the article, authors will be contacted in case relevant data is available to share but was omitted from the main report. Results will be presented as a narrative synthesis as study and population heterogeneity will likely prohibit meta-analysis. Ethical approval is not required as the scoping review methodology does not involve human or animal participants. This review will provide an extensive overview of established and emerging trends in measurement of circadian rhythms in dementia and identify gaps in the research to inform future clinical and research practice. The review will also highlight whether patient and public involvement, participant burden, and clinical usefulness of methods have been considered in developing protocols. Results will be disseminated in a peer-reviewed publication.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2022


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