Mapping precision public health definitions, terminology and applications: a scoping review protocol

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BMJ open


INTRODUCTION: Precision public health is an emerging and evolving field. Academic communities are divided regarding terminology and definitions, and what the scope, parameters and goals of precision public health should include. This protocol summarises the procedure for a scoping review which aims to identify and describe definitions, terminology, uses of the term and concepts in current literature. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A scoping review will be undertaken to gather existing literature on precision public health. We will search CINAHL, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar, and include all documents published in English that mention precision public health. A critical discourse analysis of the resulting papers will generate an account of precision public health terminology, definitions and uses of the term and the use and meaning of language. The analysis will occur in stages: first, descriptive information will be extracted and descriptive statistics will be calculated in order to characterise the literature. Second, occurrences of the phrase 'precision public health' and alternative terms in documents will be enumerated and mapped, and definitions collected. The third stage of discourse analysis will involve analysis and interpretation of the meaning of precision public health, including the composition, organisation and function of discourses. Finally, discourse analysis of alternative phrases to precision public health will be undertaken. This will include analysis and interpretation of what alternative phrases to precision public health are used to mean, how the phrases relate to each other and how they are compared or contrasted to precision public health. Results will be grouped under headings according to how they answer the research questions. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: No ethical approval will be required for the scoping review. Results of the scoping review will be used as part of a doctoral thesis, and may be published in journals, conference proceedings or elsewhere.

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