Understanding the implementation of health checks in the prevention and early detection of chronic diseases among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia: a realist review protocol
Introduction Chronic disease remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. Regular structured, comprehensive health assessments are available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as annual health checks funded through the Medicare Benefits Schedule. This realist review aims to identify context-specific enablers and tensions and contribute to developing an evidence framework to guide the implementation of health checks in the prevention and early detection of chronic diseases for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Methods and analysis The review will involve the following steps: (1) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement and research governance; (2) defining the scope of the review; (3) search strategy; (4) screening, study selection and appraisal; (5) data extraction and organisation of evidence; (6) data synthesis and drawing conclusions. This realist review will follow the Realist and MEta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards guidance and will be reported as set up by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols statement. The realist programme theory will be developed through a literature review using multiple database searches from 1 November 1999 to 31 June 2022, limited to the English language, and stakeholder consultation, which will be refined throughout the review process. The study findings will be reported by applying the context-mechanism-outcome configuration to gain a deeper understanding of context and underlying mechanisms that influence the implementation of health checks in the prevention and early detection of chronic diseases among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval is not required as this review will be using secondary data. Findings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at scientific conferences. Systematic review registration The review protocol has been registered on the international prospective register of systematic reviews: CRD42022326697.
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