Protocol for the systematic review of the reporting of transoral robotic surgery

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Introduction Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) has been adopted in some parts of the world as an innovative approach to the resection of oropharyngeal tumours. The development, details and outcomes of early-to-later phase evaluation of this technique and the quality of evidence to support its adoption into practice have hitherto not been summarised. The aim of this review is to identify and summarise the early and later phase studies of, and evidence for, TORS and to understand how early phase studies report intervention development, governance procedures and selection and reporting of outcomes to optimise methods for using the Idea, Development, Exploration, Assessment, Long-term follow-up (IDEAL) framework for surgical innovation that informs evidence-based practice. The protocol has been written in line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols checklist.

Methods and analysis
Electronic searches in OVID SP versions of Medline and EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from the start of indexing to 30 April 2017 will identify studies reporting TORS. At least two independent researchers will identify studies for inclusion. Two researchers will extract data from each paper. Studies will be categorised into IDEAL stages of study design from ‘pre-IDEAL’ to randomised controlled trials (stage 3). Data will be collected about the (1) novel intervention and criteria for modification, (2) governance arrangements and patient information provision, (3) outcome domains selected and reported and (4) quality of study design, conduct and reporting. Descriptive statistics and a narrative synthesis will be presented.

Ethics and dissemination
The results of this systematic review will be presented at relevant conferences. The methods will be used to inform future reviews exploring other novel surgical innovations. The findings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. This study does not require ethical approval.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere019198
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Early online date24 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Surgical Research


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