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Publication Detail
Do social relationships mediate or moderate social inequalities in health? A systematic review protocol
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Khaliq N, McMunn A, Machuca-Vargas C, Heilmann A
  • Publisher:
    Springer Science and Business Media LLC
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Systematic Reviews
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
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  • Keywords:
    Epidemiology, Public Health, Social determinants of health, Social relationships
  • Notes:
    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
INTRODUCTION: Explanations for health inequalities include material, behavioural and psychosocial pathways. Social relationships are an important determinant of health, and research has consistently found that a lack of support networks may diminish favourable health outcomes. There is some evidence that social network structures, partly shaped by socioeconomic factors, contribute to health inequalities. This protocol will summarise the systematic review process. METHODS AND ANALYSES: The Systematic review will be reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. An electronic database search of MEDLINE, Embase Classic + Embase and PsychINFO using the OvidSP platform will be undertaken. Databases will be searched from the earliest date of entry until 10 June 2022. Articles that have quantitatively assessed the role of social relationships in mediating or moderating health inequalities will be included and any health outcome (mental/physical) will be considered. The database search will be supplemented by reference list screening of all relevant full-text articles identified through the search. Two independent reviewers will be responsible for screening of articles, data extraction and assessment of bias. Observational studies will be risk assessed for bias using a modified version of the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale, and intervention studies will be assessed using the revised Cochrane risk-of-bias tool. It is anticipated that the eligible studies will be highly variable; therefore, a meta-analysis will only be considered if the available data of the selected studies are similar. If the studies are too heterogeneous, a narrative synthesis of the extracted data will be presented. CONCLUSION: The results of the systematic review will examine the link between social relationships and health inequalities. The findings of the review will identify gaps in knowledge where further research is needed. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42020181706.
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