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Multimorbidity in children and youth: a scoping review protocol
  1. Isabella Romano,
  2. M Claire Buchan,
  3. Mark A Ferro
  1. School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Isabella Romano; iromano{at}


Introduction Multimorbidity (co-occurring physical and mental illness) is an important issue for clinicians and researchers with combined efforts aimed at promoting the health and well-being of individuals across the life course. In children and youth, experience of any chronic physical illness leads to a substantial increase in risk for mental illness. As a growing field of interest, research is needed to map the current state of the literature in child and youth multimorbidity in order to identify existing gaps and inform the direction of future investigations.

Methods and analysis We are proposing the conduct of a scoping review to explore the depth and breadth of existing evidence in the field of child and youth multimorbidity. The scoping review will follow the methodological framework developed by Arksey and O’Malley, and will incorporate additional scoping review recommendations made by Levac et al. A systematic search of the following four key databases will be conducted: (1) PubMed; (2) EMBASE; (3) PsycINFO; and (4) Scopus, using combinations of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and Emtree terms. We will also consult grey literature sources and hand-search reference lists of included studies to identify additional studies of relevance. For eligible studies that meet all identified inclusion and exclusion criteria, a data extraction tool will be used to collect and store key study characteristics that will be relevant for collating, summarising and reporting the results of the scoping review. This scoping review also presents a novel use of quality index scoring, which we anticipate will contribute to strengthening the rigour of the scoping review methodology.

Ethics and dissemination The proposed scoping review does not require ethical approval. Final study results will be disseminated via conference presentations, publication in a peer-reviewed journal and knowledge translation activities with relevant stakeholders.

  • mental health
  • public health

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  • Contributors All authors contributed meaningfully to the preparation, drafting and editing of this scoping review protocol. MAF (guarantor) conceived the idea and guided the research team at all stages of protocol development. IR (corresponding author) conceptualised the research questions, core research plan details and data extraction tool, before preparing the initial draft of this manuscript. MCB aided in developing the systematic database search framework, in consultation with a subject-specialty Liaison Librarian at the University of Waterloo. All authors approved the final submitted manuscript, after several iterations and rounds of editing, and agree to be accountable for all aspects of this protocol.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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