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Methods and quality of disease models incorporating more than two sexually transmitted infections: a protocol for a systematic review of the evidence.
BMJ Open 2018; 8(5): e020246. Doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020246
Sailer F, Rait G, Howe A, Saunders J, Hunter R.
Introduction Disease models can be useful tools for policy makers to inform their decisions. They can help to estimate the costs and benefits of interventions without conducting clinical trials and help to extrapolate the findings of clinical trials to a population level. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) do not operate in isolation. Risk-taking behaviours and biological interactions can increase the likelihood of an individual being coinfected with more than one STI. Currently, few STI models consider coinfection or the interaction between STIs. We aim to identify and summarise STI models for two or more STIs and describe their modelling approaches. Methods and analysis Six databases (Cochrane, Embase, PLOS, ProQuest, Medline and Web of Science) were searched on 27 November 2018 to identify studies that focus on the reporting of the methodology and quality of models for at least two different STIs. The quality of all eligible studies will be accessed using a percentage scale published by Kopec et al. We will summarise all used approaches to model two or more STIs in one model. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) framework will be used to report all outcomes. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval is not required for this systematic review. The results of this review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at a suitable conference. The findings from this review will be used to inform the development of a new multi-STI model.